Yesterday we graduated and celebrated. The festivities began with a graduation ceremony at Beau Rivage Palace along the lake. Our guest speaker was Mr. Eitan Wertheimer, whom we first met when he was here with Warren Buffett. After his, MBA Program Director Benoit’s, and IMD President John Wells’s remarks, our classmate, Bevan Mckenzie (New Zealand), stole the show with his own address. Two months ago we elected Bevan as our class speaker and he did not let us down. His talk was witty, inclusive, and moving.
At IMD students are eligible for two diploma awards. “With Honours” is an academic distinction given to the top 9 students as measured by cumulative GPA. These nine students walk and receive their diplomas first. “Distinction in Leadership” is given to the top leaders in the class as measured by feedback from their groupmates throughout the year. I was honored (No superfluous “u” for me!) to receive both awards yesterday.
Yes it was great to walk among the first degree recipients, but what really made the experience special was being grouped with my favorite peers: Bevan, Daniel (with whom I shared two groups), Matt (with whom I interviewed for IMD last fall), and Lucy (about whom I blogged in the spring). I really admire these classmates of mine and being counted among them is a real thrill. I worked hard all year to achieve that status and I blogged several times about the failures I encountered along the way. Those failures, however, made attainment of these final successes all the sweeter.
After the ceremony and reception, we broke for the afternoon and returned to Beau Rivage in black tie for the graduation ball. It was a lovely affair and, although the DJ left much to be desired, dinner was excellent and it was a great way to say goodbye. Now it’s time to start packing up and thinking about what will come next!