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.