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Commencement 2022

May 31, 2022
Paul Jacobson (MBA'97), delivers remarks to Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management’s Class of 2022

By Nathaniel Luce


Nashville, Tenn.  Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management celebrated Commencement Day ceremonies for its Class of 2022 today. Gathered in the Vanderbilt Student Recreation Center, 179 students received their Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree; 80 earned a Master of Finance (MSF) degree; 41 were awarded a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree; 60 students were awarded a Master of Marketing (MMark) degree; and 48 students were awarded an Executive MBA (EMBA) degree. Students from the Master of Management in Health Care program also participated in the ceremony.

M. Eric Johnson, the Ralph Owen Dean and Bruce D. Henderson Professor of Strategy, opened the day’s ceremonies with a celebration of the school year, commending graduates for how they navigated a year shaped by changing COVID protocols and the Owen School’s building expansion project. “Through it all, this class exhibited unprecedented strength and  flexibility,” he said. “You have not just survived, but thrived.” He also noted the untimely passing of MBA student Ryan Cohen – “Ryan’s time was far too short, but we were made better because he was with us, and his memory will live on in the Owen community.”

Commencement speaker Paul Jacobson (MBA’97), CFO of General Motors, noted the currents of change in today’s world, and he commended the graduates on their resilience and flexibility – “from where I’m standing, you’re all well-accomplished at adapting and facing down challenges already, given what you’ve endured the last couple of years.”

He also spoke at length about the power of generosity. “As you transition today from your academic life to a professional one, remember that this generation and those that follow will rely on YOUR leadership, YOUR stewardship, and YOUR mentorship. It’s one of the most important aspects of my experience that I took from here, and it remains the foundation of my professional mindset,” he said.

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Awards and Recognition for Graduating Students

Keith Jones, Founders Medalist

University Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos awarded Keith Jones (MBA’22) the Founder’s Medal for the Owen School in a morning ceremony on Alumni Lawn. This award, originally endowed by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1877, is given to the MBA graduate who achieves the strongest record in personal, professional, and academic performance.


Nancy Lea Hyer, James A. Speyer Associate Dean, announced the recipients of the Dean’s Awards for Academic Excellence:

  • Mitchell Stanek (MAcc’22) received the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence in the Master of Accountancy.
  • Paul Andzelis, Alexander Feye, and John Overton (all MSF’22) received the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence in the Master of Science in Finance.
  • Mackenzie Burckbuchler (MMark’22) received the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence in the Master of Marketing.
  • Austen Lovelace (EMBA’22) received the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence in the Executive MBA program.
  • Natalie Curcio and Brooke Walker (MMHC’22) received the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence in the Master of Management in Health Care program.

Awards and Recognition for Faculty

Rangaraj RamanujamCaroline Pratt (MBA’22), President of the Owen Student Government Association, presented the James A. Webb Excellence in Teaching Award to Ranga Ramanujam, Richard M. and Betty Ruth Miller Professor of Management and Professor of Health Policy.



Brian McCannEric Eskioglu (EMBA’22) presented Brian McCann, Associate Professor of Strategic Management, with the EMBA Faculty Teaching award.



Richard Willis, Associate Dean of Faculty and Research, announced the recipients of the Dean’s Faculty Awards:


Yasin Alan

Yasin Alan, Associate Professor of Operations Management, received the Dean’s Award for Teaching Innovation.



Tim Vogus

Tim Vogus, Brownlee O. Currey, Jr. Professor of Management, received the Dean’s Research Impact Award.



Kejia Hu

Kejia Hu, Assistant Professor of Operations Management, received the Dean’s Award for Research Productivity.



Associate Dean Willis also recognized the following faculty members who have been bestowed Emeritus status by the University’s Provost, Chancellor, and Board of Trust for their years of service to Vanderbilt University and the Owen Graduate School of Management:

 William “Bill” G. Christie




Karl HackenbrackKarl E. Hackenbrack




David C. Parsley




Other awards and recognition

Eric Johnson (Far Left) poses with Matt Sells, Caroline Pratt, and Paul Jacobson (L to R)

At ceremonies held on Thursday, May 12, several other students were recognized for their achievements:

  • Keith Jones (MBA’22) received the Matt Wigginton Leadership Award, awarded for outstanding performance in finance.
  • Liza Moskowitz (MBA’22) was presented with the H. Igor Ansoff Award, which recognizes original and creative contributions to the school.
  • Benjamin Varhula (MBA’22) was awarded the Flournoy A. Coles Jr. Prize in recognition of international studies.
  • Scott Harrison (MBA’22) was chosen to receive the Financial Executives Institute Award for outstanding academic performance in both accounting and finance.

Sixteen graduating students were presented with the Owen Service Award for outstanding effort and energy in leadership, community involvement and student life. They are:

  • Elton Duncan (MBA’22)
  • Drake Gens (MSF’22)
  • Rachel Johnson (MBA’22)
  • Anna Kovach (MBA’22)
  • Madeline McDonald (MMark’22)
  • Joseph Payne (MBA’22)
  • Caroline Pratt (MBA’22)
  • Ania Sanchez (MBA’22)
  • Samantha Sanders (MBA’22)
  • Jacob Schrimpf (MBA’22)
  • Matthew Sells (MBA’22)
  • Vedanti Shah (MBA’22)
  • Nora Sultan (MBA’22)
  • Casey Sutherland (MAcc’22)
  • Raquel Szteinbaum (MBA’22)
  • Rachel Watts (MBA’22)



Contact Person: Nate Luce Executive Director of Marketing and Communications
Contact Phone: 615.322.3469
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