More than 700 receive diplomas at graduation ceremonies

On June 5, 1918, in a ceremony at the French Opera House in New Orleans, Tulane University’s College of Commerce and Business Administration awarded degrees to its first graduating class. There was one graduate.

Ahmed Al-Massry, Thomas Altman and Emilia Anderson, left to right, were three of 117 graduates who received Master of Business Administration degrees at the Freeman School’s Graduate Diploma Ceremony.

When the A. B. Freeman School of Business awarded degrees to the graduating class of 2014, it was a very different scene. More than 700 students representing eight distinct degree programs and more than two dozen countries received diplomas this year, making the ceremony one of the largest and most diverse in school history.

The Freeman School’s 2014 graduate diploma ceremony took place on May 17 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome immediately following the unified commencement ceremony. This year’s graduating classes included 300 Bachelor of Science in Management graduates, 52 Master of Accounting graduates, 117 Master of Business Administration graduates, 201 Master of Finance graduates, 18 Master of Global Management graduates, 51 Master of Management graduates, 37 Master of Management in Energy graduates and one Doctor of Philosophy graduate.

Master of Finance grad Zemin Zhu gives a shout out to friends and family.
Master of Finance graduate Zemin Zhu gives a shout out to friends and family.

“Today’s commencement exercises celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates and reaffirm Tulane’s longstanding commitment to outstanding teaching, research, and service,” said Paul Spindt, senior associate dean, who presided over the ceremony for Dean Ira Solomon, who was in Illinois to attend his daughter’s graduation from law school.

Joining Spindt on the platform were Cameron Berthelsen, 2014-15 vice president of the Graduate Business Council; Chris Bonura (MBA ’09), president of the Tulane Association of Business Alumni; Peter Ricchiuti, professor of practice and school marshal; John Koerner (L ’69, MBA ’70), member of the Business School Council and emeritus member of the Board of Tulane; Geoffrey Parker, professor of management science and school marshal; Charles Swanson, member of the Business School Council; and Clif Brown, associate dean.

Maria Luisa Plaut shows off her just-received Master of Global Management diploma.
Maria Luisa Plaut shows off her just-received Master of Global Management diploma.

“This year’s graduates, like those who came before and those who will come after, have completed rigorous, state-of-the-art courses of study,” Spindt continued. “They have been challenged to make a positive impact on society using the knowledge and skills learned and honed here at Freeman. I have no doubt that they will be successful, making us proud to recognize them over the coming years as members of the Freeman and Tulane families.”

David Bode earned this year’s Marta and Peter Bordeaux Scholastic Achievement Award, which is awarded to the MBA graduate with the highest cumulative grade point average, while three BSM graduates — Hannah Hausman, Courtney M. Kulchin and Rachel M. Spirer — shared the BSM Scholastic Achievement Award, which recognizes the BSM graduate with the highest cumulative GPA.

Eryn Bell, outgoing president of the Graduate Business Council, earned the Roger L. Cornelius Award, which is awarded by the MBA class in recognition of the graduating student who best exemplifies business scholarship and leadership.

To see more photos from the Graduate Diploma Ceremony, visit the Freeman School’s Flickr page.