WHU General

Long-awaited Ceremonial Graduation

The Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program celebrates the Class of 2020

Kellogg-WHU EMBA graduates throw their mortarboards in the air

A year has passed since the Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program class of 2020 graduated. Due to the global pandemic, the Fall 2020 graduation ceremony could not be held locally. After an open discussion with the students, program management made the conscious decision not to hold an online-only ceremony, but to hold the ceremony in its usual format at a later date instead. Now, at the end of October 2021, the 56 graduates of the challenging executive education program offered by WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in cooperation with world-renowned Kellogg School of Management were duly celebrated at the Electoral Palace in Koblenz.

WHU Dean, Professor Markus Rudolf, recalled the measures taken to ensure the smooth completion of the program even during the pandemic during his speech at the opening ceremony. Bernadette Birt, Assistant Dean, Kellogg Executive MBA Global Network, of the Kellogg School of Management added in her address that in the year since their actual graduation date, graduates have already gained real experience in crisis management and leadership during a pandemic. Both Rudolf and Birt emphasized that while their studies have come to an end, the community remains. "You will never be alone on your journey. You will always have the support of your fellow graduates and the alumni network," Birt assured, while Rudolf invited the graduates to be an active part of that same network: "We need you as alumni of the university to make WHU even better."

Kellogg alumnus Michael Nilles, Chief Digital and Information Officer at Henkel KGaA, spoke of change as a cornerstone of life. "The future belongs to those who bring about change and thus help shape the world. It belongs to the pioneers. You all have the best prerequisites to become such pioneers." To make the most of their past and future success, Nilles gave the graduates a few recommendations: be passionate about what you do, stay curious, value those closest to you, stay humble no matter what position you may reach in your personal and professional life, and above all, create a better tomorrow.

As with every graduating class, graduates had the opportunity to vote for their favorite teachers. Professor Jürgen Weigand, Academic Director of the Kellogg-WHU EMBA Program, read out the results of the Best Teacher Awards, which went to Professor Karl Schmedders from the Kellogg School of Management and Professor Martin Jacob from WHU. The ceremony was rounded off with an enthusiastic speech by class president A-T Schneider and a subsequent reception, which was enjoyed by the graduates, professors, and program officers with great pleasure at the long-awaited reunion.