DeNisi's final commencement a stark contrast to first

May 20, 2011

It doesn’t take much effort to see the contrast between Angelo DeNisi’s first commencement as dean of the Freeman School and his last.

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Dean Angelo DeNisi with Tulane Association of Business Alumni Award winners Claudio Galimberti, Jennifer Urrego and Chia Neoh.

In 2006, when DeNisi presided over his first spring commencement, the effects of Hurricane Katrina were still all around. The Freeman School graduated just 447 students that year, and that number would drop to just over 400 in 2007 as Tulane and New Orleans continued to recover from the storm.

This year, DeNisi’s last as dean of the business school, Freeman awarded diplomas to more than 800 students, including graduates of two new programs—the Master of Global Management and the Master of Risk Management—that DeNisi himself helped launch. At the same time, Freeman’s national rankings are higher than they were five years ago across the board. As DeNisi noted in his introductory remarks, for the first time in history both the MBA program and the undergraduate program are ranked in the top 50 by the two leading ranking publications, U.S. News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

“Yes, these have been truly momentous years for the Freeman School, for Tulane and for New Orleans,” DeNisi said. “When the Saints won the Super Bowl, the city announced to the world that we were back and better than ever.

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Senior Associate Dean John Trapani leads the procession from Goldring/Woldenberg Hall to McAlister Auditorium.

“I am happy today to be turning over the Freeman School to our next dean in as good shape as I found it,” he wryly added, “maybe even a little better.”

At the Freeman graduate-level ceremony, which took place on May 13 in McAlister Auditorium, DeNisi presented diplomas to 52 Master of Accounting graduates (including 38 joint BSM/MACCTs), 274 Master of Business Administration graduates, 120 Master of Finance graduates, 38 Master of Global Management graduates, 31 Master of Management graduates, nine Master of Risk Management graduates and nine Doctor of Philosophy graduates.

A day earlier, 321 Bachelor of Science in Management graduates received their diplomas at the Newcomb-Tulane College Undergraduate Ceremony, which took place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center immediately following Tulane’s Unified Commencement Ceremony.

2011 Commencement
From left to right, graduates J. J. Rassier (MBA '11, MGM '11), Chris Williams (MBA '11), Vivek Sharma (MBA '11) and Mario Coronel (MBA '11).

Ian Jones (MBA ’11), president of the Graduate Business Council during the 2010-2011 academic year, delivered this year’s charge to graduates at the Freeman ceremony. Jonathan Raizon (BSM ’11) received the BSM Award for Scholastic Achievement, which recognizes the BSM graduate with the highest cumulative grade point average, and Hakima Taoufiq (MBA ’11) received the Marta and Peter Bordeaux Scholastic Achievement Award, which recognizes the MBA graduate with the highest cumulative grade point average. In addition, Amanda Diamond (BSM ’11) and Ian Furman (MBA/JD ’11) received the Tulane 34 Award, which is presented each year to 34 Tulane graduates who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, student leadership and community service throughout their collegiate careers.

At the conclusion of this year’s ceremony, Associate Dean Peggy Babin presented DeNisi with a plaque recognizing his service to the Freeman School. The plaque read, “To Angelo DeNisi, dean, 2005-2011, Freeman School of Business, in appreciation of his efforts on behalf of the school during historically significant times, reaching goals that surpassed expectations, and facing each challenge with aplomb.”

To see photos from this year’s Freeman diploma ceremony, visit the Freeman School’s Flickr page.