Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program

Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Celebrates Graduation of Cohort 2021

The 23rd cohort of the Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program graduates at in-person ceremony held in Koblenz’s Electoral Palace

[Translate to English:] Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA 2021 Graduierung vor dem Stadtschloss Koblenz

On a sunny Friday afternoon, family, friends, and members of the combined Kellogg-WHU Community gathered together at “Kurfuerstliches Schloss” (Electoral Palace) in Koblenz to honor the 2021 graduating class of the Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program (KW23). Celebrating its silver anniversary this year, the program is designed to give today’s experienced working professionals a chance to return to the classroom and gain a fresh perspective on topics in which they are often already well versed. The graduating students of the KW23 cohort attending the ceremony wore talars trimmed in purple, gold, and blue—a unique blend of the two schools’ signature colors.

Taking the stage beneath two large chandeliers, Dean of WHU Professor Markus Rudolf, Deputy Dean of WHU and Academic Director of the Executive MBA program Professor Juergen Weigand, and Assistant Dean for EMBA at Kellogg School of Management Bernadette Birt opened the ceremony by lauding the graduates for their professional and academic achievements, loyalty, and, above all, perseverance. After a turbulent few years defined by global pandemic, political unrest, and a resultant sense of economic instability, the KW23 cohort is, according to Birt, “living the principle” set in place by the EMBA program: “High Impact, Low Ego.”

Class speaker Dennis Atzert (KW23) shared similar thoughts in his address, noting that he and his classmates had to contend with a “change of expectations from the start of the program to now.” Professor Weigand was quick to add that, with an equal amount of effort coming from all sides, the sense of accomplishment could be felt by all in attendance.

Professor Weigand awards WHU Professor Christian Andres as Best Teacher of the Kellogg-WHU EMBA programms
Academic Director Professor Juergen Weigand awards WHU Professor Christian Andres as Best Teacher of this year's Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA program

Between the speeches, Musikerduo MO entertained the crowd and set the tone of the event with their renditions of Maroon 5’s bittersweet “Memories” and Robert Johnson’s lively “Sweet Home Chicago,” a nod to the program’s strong connections to Northwestern University, the parent of the Kellogg School of Management based in Evanston, Illinois (USA).

Roughly half-way through the ceremony, Professor Weigand reappeared on stage to announce this year’s recipients of the Best Teacher Award EMBA 2021. For the Kellogg School of Management, the honoree was revealed to be Professor Karl Schmedders; for WHU, there was Professor Christian Andres, who notably received similar recognition from two of the three MBA cohorts that had graduated earlier in the spring. Shortly before the scrolls were to be handed out, Executive MBA Program Director Hanne Mai thanked the cohort as a whole, defining her experiences with them using one simple word: “trust,” meaning the students’ trust in themselves, in their classmates, and in the whole of the EMBA team.

What began as a risk and a venture has since become of WHU’s most prominent and important fixtures on campus. Started in the 1990s by the late Professor Horst Albach and Professor Donald Jacobs (then the Dean at Kellogg’s), the program has welcomed, educated, and graduated some of today’s leading thinkers and doers.

Those interested in learning more about Kellogg-WHU EMBA program can visit their official page.