Dear GWSB Community,
The month of May has been very exciting and energizing. We had a full calendar during the weeks leading up to commencement, and we can be proud of what we accomplished together during the academic year. There was much to celebrate… and we did!
Here are just a few May highlights:
- We celebrated academic excellence at the annual induction ceremony and dinner of the GWSB chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma business honors fraternity. Thirty-nine of our students — and one faculty member — were inducted as brothers and sisters in BGS.
- It was great to see more than 30 of our GW alumni working at Deloitte, at their Rossyln, Virginia office. Elliott School of International Affairs Dean Reuben Brigety and I enjoyed the opportunity to update alumni about GW and to strengthen our long-time ties to Deloitte.
- I had the honor of announcing and presenting the 2019 Dean’s Awards for Excellence at a combined faculty and staff meeting at the beginning of the month. The award winners — professors and staff members — were nominated by their peers and selected for their exceptional contributions to the GWSB community. Each of them exemplifies our commitment to excellence in teaching, research, or service.
- We hosted the inaugural meeting of the Dean’s Corporate Council. The council is a component of our strategy to engage with local business leaders to get their feedback and insight to bolster our business education curriculum and career development efforts. We had a productive meeting with representatives from Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, Cisco, Attain LLC, Nestle and ePlus. The plan going forward is to host quarterly breakfast meetings with a group made up of GWSB recruiting partners, corporate supporters and alumni.
It was also my first time experiencing the GWSB undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies. Over the course of two days, we heard excellent addresses from our commencement speakers: philanthropist Michael Milken at the four-year degree ceremony, who discussed the differences — and a few similarities — between the world of today and the world he faced as a college graduate in the late ’60s; and Susie Selby, GWSB MBA ’85, who talked about how she leveraged the knowledge, skills and tenacity that were instilled in her during her time at GWSB to learn an entirely new field and find success as the owner of Selby Winery in Healdsburg, Calif. Ms. Selby is one of a very few female sole proprietors in the wine industry worldwide. We also heard from a pair of outstanding student speakers, Mitchell Oertel (undergraduate) and Atima Shahi (graduate).
On Sunday, I had the privilege of attending the GW University commencement ceremony on the National Mall, fittingly enough, in the shadow of the Washington Monument. It was truly an “only at GW” moment that I will never forget. I could not resist taking selfies with the impressive background comprised of our graduates, their families and friends assembled at the Mall. And, GWSB had its first-ever online graduation ceremony — how fun it was to actually graduate a student while he sat in traffic in Toronto!
As I said, we accomplished much as the spring semester came to a close — we are excited to carry that energy into summer. We are working on several strategic initiatives for the fall semester and beyond.
I have also been working closely with two new members of the GWSB leadership team, Shivraj Kanungo and Mark Strassman. Dr. Kanungo will be succeeding Leo Moersen (who will be staying on as a member of the GWSB faculty) as associate dean for undergraduate programs. Mark Strassman recently came onboard as the new executive director of the F. David Fowler Career Center. Their energy and commitment to putting our students’ interest first is contagious.
We are also planning the next “season” of the very successful George Talks Business series. We have already booked some exciting guests, such as Mark Lerner and Nelson Carbonell, for the fall semester. In the meantime, we will be taking GTB “on the road” to the GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, for a special, summer edition on "How to Help HR Deliver Business Value" on Thursday, June 6, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. We will also be doing another “on-location” session from Philadelphia in the fall — the details will be announced on the website and social media.
I will be back with an update sometime before the fall semester starts. Until then, wishing you all a pleasant and productive summer!
All the best,
Anuj Mehrotra, Ph.D.