Commencement is an exhilarating time of year — the time when students celebrate their accomplishments and officially become Spartan graduates. Michigan State University’s commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2022 returned to the pre-COVID pandemic format, honoring more than 9,200 graduates in person on campus.
For the Broad College of Business, approximately 380 advanced degree graduates and 1,200 undergraduates crossed the stage, ready to make a positive impact for business.
“Being ready for that next frontier means being ready to seize the next opportunity and move forward,” Linda Hubbard (B.A. Accounting ’82), Carhartt Inc. president and chief operating officer, said in her address to master’s and educational specialist degree recipients on May 6. For her contributions to the Spartan community as well as the nation, Hubbard was presented with an honorary Doctorate in Business at the ceremony.
Past commencement speaker Todd Penegor (B.A. Accounting ’87, MBA ’89), Wendy’s CEO, who spoke at the fall 2020 virtual commencement, was also presented an honorary Doctorate in Business. This award recognizes his unwavering dedication to innovative products, empowering employees and creating the leaders of tomorrow.
Jerome Behar (B.A. Accounting ’79), founder and managing director of Nissim Capital and co-founder and chair of Grand River Solutions, spoke at the Broad College’s ceremony, addressing undergraduates on May 7.
“While you graduate today, your education is just starting,” he said. “You have demonstrated that you’re good learners, and your career success depends on you being lifelong learners.”
As a serial entrepreneur, currently working on his fifth startup, Behar encouraged the newly minted Spartan graduates to embrace their passions, focus on what they identify as most important in their lives and treat failure as a valuable experience — all of which he has done throughout his own career.
“No matter how excellent you are, you will experience setbacks and failure in your career and your life; there’s no way around that, it’s inevitable,” he said. “The key is how you respond. Will you shrink, or will you learn and grow from the experience? You can recover from almost any failure.”
At the ceremony, two Broad alumni were recognized for the profound impact they have had on the college as well as the communities where they live. Mala Kashyap (B.A. Economics ’03, Master’s of Human Resources and Labor Relations ’07), senior director of HR mergers and acquisitions at Honeywell, received the Young Alumni Achievement Award, and Blake Kreuger (B.A. General Business Administration ’75), chair, president and CEO of Wolverine Worldwide, received the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award.
There were also a few notable student appearances, including graduating marketing senior Isabel Wallace, who sang the national anthem at the college’s ceremony, and graduating supply chain management senior Sachi Arora, who inspired her peers as the student speaker.
Arora shared her story as the first person in her family to attend college in the United States and what it was like navigating Indian and American culture after her family immigrated here. She said taking leaps of faith helped her succeed at MSU, and she was able to become president and community service chair of the Women in Business Students’ Association, serve as a student coordinator for the Residential Business Community and an undergraduate research assistant for the Broad Scholar Program, among other accomplishments.
Arora left her peers in the Class of 2022 with three pieces of advice. “First, lead with gratitude. Second, don’t lose sight of your passions and hobbies, because these help you be your best self,” she said. “And third, believe in yourself and take the leap of faith. You never know what decision might just change the trajectory of your life.”
As we share best wishes to the Class of 2022, you can experience this special moment by watching Sachi Arora’s speech, Jerome Behar’s speech and our video recap of the spring 2022 commencement celebration: