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On October 27, 2017, the Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program of WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management celebrated the graduation of the EMBA class of 2017. The graduates received their certificates during a ceremony at the Electoral Palace in Koblenz. Together with their families and friends, the alumni looked back at two years of studying in the Executive MBA.
After the arrival of the faculty representatives, the Executive MBA team and the graduates to the sound of "Amazing Grace", Professor Dr. Markus Rudolf, Dean of WHU, opened the event with his speech. He pointed out that the Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and said how proud he is to be part of such a great Executive MBA Program. He then reminded the students that not everything can be bought with money. Despite a high level of commitment to the job, one should always keep an eye on the own priorities – such as family, friends and health – the Dean of WHU advised the graduates.
Professor Greg Hanifee, Associate Dean, Executive MBA Global Network Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, gave the alumni three pieces of advice. Firstly, the degree is not the end of the road. The graduates should use experiences from the study program to grow further and to make a contribution to society. Secondly, the graduates should never stop learning and reflecting. And thirdly, this was now the time to apply what they had learned during the past two years. Professor Dr. Jürgen Weigand, Deputy Dean of WHU, reminded the alumni how he had promised them at the start of their course that time would fly and that it is going to be a transformation during the two years of the Executive MBA course. Now he was sure that they had indeed transformed: they had found new friends and a strong network and were now at the point where they could make the most of it. Annette Heuser, Managing Director of the Professor Otto Beisheim Foundation, called upon the alumni to always be committed, to act as role models and to always be aware of the impact of their own words, no matter what position they might be in.
This year's Best Teacher Award for the best lecture in the Executive MBA Program went to Professor Karl Schmedders. Afterwards, Professor Dr. Weigand and Hanne Mai, Program Director of the Executive MBA at WHU, handed out the graduation certificates together with Professor Dr. Rudolf and Professor Hanifee. A special highlight was the graduates following the tradition of singing the Latin graduation hymn "Gaudeamus Igitur" together.