The Class of 2023 from Pitt’s College of Business Administration reflected on the past four years of growth and adjustment during their commencement ceremony at PPG Arena on April 29, 2023.
Nearly 600 students received their BSBA this year and were recognized at the Pitt Business Undergraduate Programs ceremony, the first spring ceremony for Henry E. Haller Dean Gene Anderson. To watch the entire ceremony, click here. The event program can be viewed here.
Anderson congratulated the graduates, telling them: “We are grateful for the gifts of time, talent, and experience you’ve shared during your time with us. You are leaving our community even richer and stronger than you found it.”
The commencement speaker was Leslie Davis, president and CEO of UPMC. Davis is known for her commitment to improving healthcare outcomes for patients and for her focus on advancing research and education in the field. Under her leadership, UPMC has continued to expand its reach and capabilities, delivering world-class care to patients in the Pittsburgh area and beyond.
Davis’ remarks inspired the crowd. “If I have a personal mantra, it’s this: When opportunity comes your way, take it… Where you’re headed today – be that a job, more education, or if you’re figuring out your next steps, I assure you where you are today is not where you’ll end up. How exciting is that!”
A Resilient Group
Lawrence Feick, interim associate dean for the Pitt Business undergraduate program, congratulated graduates for persevering through the pandemic’s challenges, with many learning online for the first time. He added the ceremony marks the transition to the next stop in life and a career.
“Whatever your ‘next’ is, we hope you greet it with the same passion and perseverance that you developed here at Pitt and especially at Pitt Business,” he said. “I know I speak for all of our faculty and staff in wishing you much success as you approach this next level with drive, energy, and Pitt Pride. We’re proud of all that you’ve accomplished during your time at Pitt Business and look forward to receiving updates from you.”
Davis’ remarks also discussed forced detours. “The path you started on took a mighty unusual detour. And although that detour came with a lot of challenges, it also came with unexpected opportunities, you’d agree? Perhaps it offered time for you to think about what mattered to you. Time to focus on doing things you loved. Time to pivot away from things you didn’t love. This experience shaped your value system. You know what matters.”
Student speaker Lexis Wright, who will begin her career as an EMERGE leadership development rotational program associate at Kennametal, brought a compact mirror with her to the podium.
“Today, as our journey at Pitt comes to a close, many failures pave the road that lies ahead. Choosing the path of discomfort will pose a greater risk. Sometimes, you may feel so lost that you don’t know if you’re headed in the right direction. Use this tool as your compass to remind yourself that the only person stopping you is the reflection in the mirror.”
Numerous undergraduates, staff, and faculty were recognized as award winners during the ceremony:
– Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship: Ivy Chang, Megan Mappin, and Bridgette McCooey
– Outstanding Accounting Major: Sydney Hawk
– Outstanding Business Information Systems Major: Ian Fitzgerald
– Outstanding Finance Major: Caroline O’Keefe
– Outstanding Global Management Major: Diana James
– Outstanding Human Resources Management Major: Kasey Verna
– Outstanding Marketing Major: Megan Mappin
– Outstanding Supply Chain Management Major: Bridgette McCooey
– Edward W. Kay and Mary Margaret Kay Fund for Teaching Excellence in Accounting: Heidi Bartholomew
– Pitt Business Student Impact Award: Eugenia Wu and Ray Jones
– Pitt Business Student Impact Award for Staff: Margaret Monroe
– Pitt Business Alumni Leadership Award: Alex Firestine