The University of Nebraska–Lincoln granted more than 525 undergraduate and graduate business degrees during commencement exercises May 5-6. The college celebrated the graduation of the inaugural cohort of the College of Business Honors Academy with a special graduation event on May 5. The event concluded several prominent graduation activities for the College of Business including the MBA Graduation Luncheon, the School of Accountancy Graduation Celebration, and the Senior Sendoff and Graduate Goodbye.
Dr. Kathy Farrell, interim dean, spoke to the 33 graduating Honors Academy students and their families at the Wick Alumni Center. She expressed her amazement at both their accomplishments and the people who rapidly built the program.
“The Honors Academy started with an idea from our previous dean, Donde Plowman,” said Farrell. “She knew we needed to attract students who were not just strong academically, but also exhibited strong leadership skills. Donde hired Dr. Donna Dudney as the first director of the Honors Academy and in less than a year, the program went from an idea to accepting the first cohort.”
Erin Burnette, who became director of the Honors Academy in 2012, presented graduating students their Honors Academy medallions and spoke to them about the expanding community they created.
“The unique skills and experiences each of you provided created the backbone of the Honors Academy,” said Burnette. “We loved watching you challenge and support each other through the ups and downs of college life, both in and outside the classroom. Through this camaraderie and desire to succeed, you accomplished incredible things.”
The accomplishments of the cohort include traveling abroad 26 times to 13 countries, competing in competitions across the U.S. and participating in internships at nearly 75 companies. They also took on a multitude of leadership roles in student government, senior honor societies, student organizations, athletics, fraternities and sororities, and other groups across campus.
James Anderson, partner at BKD, LLP Nebraska practice and member of the School of Accountancy Advisory Board, delivered the keynote speech to the School of Accountancy Graduation Celebration. He singled out the more than 125 graduates for their high character and discipline in receiving their degrees.
“You have chosen an area of study that says a lot about you as a person,” said Anderson. “Your accounting degree, and for most of you, the CPA designation you hope to obtain, indicates to the world you are many things – trustworthy, dependable, intelligent and hard working. My experience over 20 years suggests regardless of your immediate post-graduation plans, the combination of your degree, the CPA designation and some experience, is very powerful. There is currently, and will continue to be, a market for your skills, whether it be in public or private business, education or elsewhere.”
Dr. Aaron Crabtree, director of the School of Accountancy, opened the festivities. He praised the students for their dedication and emphasized the celebration as being the highlight of the school’s calendar year.
More than 400 people, including graduates, family members, friends, faculty and staff attended the Senior Sendoff and Graduate Goodbye, which was held in The Railyard in Lincoln’s Haymarket District. Nelnet sponsored the event.
Facebook Photo Album - Honors Academy Graduation Celebration
Facebook Photo Album - Senior Sendoff and Graduate Goodbye
Facebook Photo Album - School of Accountancy Graduation Celebration
Facebook Photo Album - MBA Graduation Luncheon