Freeman recognizes more than 1,000 degree candidates at 2023 diploma ceremonies

Hui Zhou celebrates receiving her PhD diploma at the conclusion of the Graduate Diploma Ceremony
Hui Zhou (PhD ’23) waves her newly received Doctor of Philosophy diploma during the Graduate Ceremony recession from Avron B. Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldhouse. Photo © MillerFoto.

The A. B. Freeman School of Business recognized more than 1,000 degree candidates at its spring 2023 undergraduate and graduate diploma ceremonies. This year’s ceremonies, which honored students graduating this spring as well as from summer and fall 2022, took place on Friday, May 19, in the Avron B. Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldhouse on Tulane’s uptown campus.

Tulane University Provost Robin Forman presided over the ceremonies for Freeman School Dean Paulo Goes, who was recovering from knee surgery and unable to attend, but Dean Goes sent a special video message to this year’s graduates.

“A Tulane-Freeman education is designed to prepare you for the business world and what lies ahead, but it doesn’t stop here,” he said in the video. “It’s up to you now to continue to identify and stretch those windows of opportunity. And they will come. In the rapidly changing world, they will come in big ways — energy transition, artificial intelligence, biotech, just to name a few forces of change. Opportunity will come driven by waves of innovation, and if you know anything about surfing, it’s all about the timing and being ready — being prepared. Freeman graduates, you are ready to go through those windows of opportunity and ride those waves.”

Provost Forman echoed that theme in his remarks, highlighting the value of a Tulane-Freeman education to help navigate the uncharted waters of a rapidly changing world.

Tulane University Provost Robin Forman, center, delivers remarks during the Undergraduate Diploma Ceremony on May 19.
Tulane University Provost Robin Forman, at the lectern, leads the Undergraduate Diploma Ceremony on May 19. Photo © MillerFoto.

“The future will belong to those who can continue to grow and learn along with the changing world around them,” Forman told graduates. “And Tulane graduates have always demonstrated a distinctive ability to recognize new opportunities — possibilities that we never imagined when they were students — and be the first to take advantage of them.

“I know you will be amazed at what your classmates will accomplish,” he continued, “and you will share in our excitement at their successes just as they will share in our excitement at yours. Over time, as you watch your classmates change the world, your pride at being a member of the Freeman School class of 2023 will only grow. And through it all, we will be there for you supporting your continued success, and I look forward to you being there for us, supporting ours. Once again, congratulations.”

The Undergraduate Diploma Ceremony, which kicked off the day’s festivities, recognized more than 600 graduates and prospective graduates of the Freeman School’s Bachelor of Science in Management program.

Bryan Cole Ryback (BSM/MACCT ’23) received the BSM Scholastic Achievement Award, which honors the graduating Bachelor of Science in Management student with the highest cumulative grade point average. Christine Faith Tong (BSM ’23) received the Evelyn and William Burkenroad Award, which is chosen by the senior class on the basis of scholarship, integrity, amiability, and contributions to the professional, social and academic quality of the business program.

Jordan Eli Kirsh-Clemenceau (BSM ’23), Isabel Basia Braverman (BSM ’23), Geeta Lalit Jhangiani (BSM ’23) and Sofia Elena Pedrelli (BSM ’23) received the Tulane 34 Award, which is presented annually to 34 graduates from across the university in recognition of exceptional academic achievement, student leadership and community service, underscoring the significance and breadth of citizenship and public service woven into academic life at Tulane.

The Wall Street Journal Award, which honors a BSM student whose academic performance in the area of finance is considered exceptional, was presented to Alexander Bryce Hill (BSM ’23), and the Dean’s Service Award, which is presented to graduating students who have added dimension to the school through outstanding contributions of time and effort, was awarded to Christine Faith Tong (BSM ’23), Amelia Ruth Viator (BSM ’23), Jonathan M. Abbo (BSM ’23), Bailey Elizabeth Andras (BSM ’23), Jordan Eli Kirsh-Clemenceau (BSM ’23), Adia Jessnita Uchenna Handy (BSM ’23) and Dillon H. Weisberg (BSM ’23).

At the ceremony’s conclusion, the Uptown Strutters Brass Band led a second line from the arena to the Goldring/Woldenberg Business Complex for a reception.


Degree candidates smile for the camera during Graduate Diploma Ceremony.

Later that afternoon, the Graduate Diploma Ceremony continued the celebration, honoring more than 400 graduates and prospective graduates of the Freeman School’s master’s and doctoral programs.

Samuel Jacob Cappo (MBA ’22) and Holly Linnea Shawhan (MBA ’22) shared the Marta and Peter Bordeaux Scholastic Achievement Award, which recognizes the graduating MBA student with the highest cumulative grade point average.

Raymond Irving Howze (MBA ’23) and Ivy Laura Robinson (MBA ’23) received the Roger L. Cornelius Award, which recognizes the graduating MBA who embodies the highest standards of business scholarship and leadership.

Leigh Jacquette Bensing (MBA ’23), Ivy Laura Robinson (MBA ’23) and Abigail Rose Whitman (MBA ’23) received the Freeman Leadership Award, which was established by the Graduate Business Council to recognize students who exemplify engagement through leadership in student organizations and commitment to improving the business school experience for fellow students.

Four MBA graduates received the Tulane 34 Award: Ivy Laura Robinson (MBA ’23), Arianne Delora Sacramento (MD/MBA/MPH ’23), Kendall Shea Zenk (MBA ’23) and Yichi Zhang (MD/MBA ’23).

Stephen Todd Jones (MBA ’23) was honored with the Allen R. Vorholt Memorial Award, which recognizes a graduate of the executive MBA program who demonstrates leadership, scholarship, the ability to balance priorities and a strong sense of civic obligation.

The Dean’s Service Award was presented to Leigh Jacquette Bensing (MBA ’23), Abigail Rose Whitman (MBA ’23), Alexa Caroline Nazarbechian (BSM/MACCT’23), Jean Marie Smith (MBA/JD ’23), Thet Mon Aye (MFIN ’23), Morgan Maschler (MMG ’23) and Alexander Charles Kemppainen (MME ’23).

The Tulane Association of Business Alumni Award, which recognizes students who rank in the top 10% of their classes and display exceptional leadership, self-motivation and service, was presented to Amy Louise Amerson (MBA ’23), Melanie Weiser Mercier (MBA ’23), Natalie Rita Weiss (MD/MBA ’23), Rachel Hakes (MBA ’23), Hassan Aziz (MANA ’23), Bingzhao Yao (MFIN ’23), Nico Sperber (MMG ’23) and Garrett Edward Ruiz (MME ’23).

Following the ceremony, the Uptown Strutters Brass Band led a second line out of the arena and into the Goldring/Woldenberg Business Complex for a champagne reception in honor of graduates, bringing this year’s diploma ceremonies to a close.


Graduate Ceremony Reception attendees
Undergraduate Diploma Ceremony attendees
Graduate Diploma Ceremony graduates
Graduate Diploma Ceremony reception attendees
Undergraduate reception attendees
Graduate reception graduate and his daughter

Photos © MillerFoto. To see more photos from this year’s ceremonies, visit the Freeman School’s Flickr page.

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