July 17, 2020

Inspiring Meetings with Rising Fourth-Years and Black Alumni

This past week, I had the pleasure of meeting with two groups of fourth-year Comm students. After they identified their Integrated Core Experience block affiliations, they shared with me how they are spending their summer, what drew them to commerce, and what they loved most about their third-year experience. The students reported that they were surprised by both the level of collegiality among their fellow third-years and how helpful they found the fourth-years to be. It was evident that these students developed close ties with one another through the Integrated Core Experience that will only strengthen over time. In contrast, the students asked tough questions and offered helpful suggestions about how we could work together to create an environment where students who are interested in a Comm experience will have access to one and will receive the support they need to succeed.

The sentiments of the fourth-year students were echoed by attendees at a recent Black Alumni and Student event—hosted by the Black Alumni of the Greater D.C. Area. I was able to visit with them toward the end of their virtual meeting and share my thoughts on continual efforts within the Comm School to build community and facilitate outcomes for students that are not determined by their identity. A special thank you to T’sara Nock (Comm ’18) for helping to arrange the event.

After my conversations with both students and alumni this week, I am convinced that there is a role for the Comm School in preparing leaders who will facilitate consequential change in both their professional and personal lives. As we continue to provide students with the skills needed to drive business into the future, we have the opportunity and responsibility to embrace the call to be a School that is both great and good. Commerce is the enduring conduit through which citizens of the world have benefited from idea generation, increased access, and a pathway out of poverty. I am hopeful that our graduates will strive to lead their respective organizations in manifesting both greatness and goodness in all that they do.

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