04 Jun 2009

Harvard Business School Celebrates 99th Commencement

MBA students take oath Photo: Stuart Cahill

BOSTON — The sun shone brightly this afternoon on candidates for master's and doctoral degrees as Harvard Business School held its 99th Commencement exercises on the green in front of Baker Library/Bloomberg Center. At a ceremony presided over by Dean Jay Light, 886 students received their MBAs, while 6 were awarded doctorates in business administration. In addition, in conjunction with the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 12 earned Ph. D. degrees - 7 in business economics, 2 in organizational behavior, 2 in information technology and management, and 1 in science, technology, and management.

The top 5 percent of the MBA Class of 2009 (44 graduates) graduated with high distinction as Baker Scholars (named after the School's initial benefactor, George F. Baker), while 58 students received their diplomas with distinction. Second-year honors were awarded to 151 students.

At the Class Day ceremony held yesterday, the Class of 2009 honored 4 faculty members for excellence in teaching: Professor Joseph Lassiter (who teaches The Entrepreneurial Manager course in the first-year required curriculum), Professor Jan Rivkin (who teaches Strategy in the required curriculum), Professor David Moss (who taught a new second-year elective course titled Creating the Modern Financial System) and Associate Professor Noam Wasserman (who offered a new elective called Money & Power in Entrepreneurial Ventures).

Student Speaker Thomas Rajan Photo: Stuart Cahill

Class Day also featured addresses by student speaker Thomas Rajan (MBA 2009) and keynoter James "Jamie" Dimon (MBA 1982), chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Faculty Honorees: (L-R) Lassiter,
Wasserman, Moss, Rivkin Photo: Stuart Cahill

Following these festivities, almost 400 graduating students made their way to Burden Auditorium to take the MBA Oath, pledging that they would "serve the greater good by bringing people and resources together to create value that no single individual can build alone. Therefore I will seek a course that enhances the value my enterprise can create for society over the long term." (For the complete oath and further background, see www.mbaoath.org). Created by HBS students themselves, the MBA oath drew inspiration from the work of Professors Rakesh Khurana and Nitin Nohria.

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.