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Stanford Report, June 14, 2000

Stanford Business School honors its 75th graduating class: 06/00


Stanford Business School honors its 75th graduating class

More than 400 men and women were honored Sunday as the Stanford Business School held its 75th annual spring commencement. In addition to the graduates, the ceremony celebrated the first commencement of a new dean, a new century and at least one new baby.

Purnima Padmanabhan, a member of the MBA Class of 2000, was greeted by a standing ovation from her classmates as she received her diploma. Less than eight hours earlier, she had given birth to a son.

During Sunday's ceremony, held in Frost Amphitheater, the Business School awarded 12 Ph.D. degrees, 337 MBA degrees, two JD/MBA degrees, 47 Sloan Master of Management degrees and 16 master's degrees in business research.

Roelof Frederik Botha, a native of Pretoria, South Africa, received both the Alexander Robichek Award, given by the school's finance faculty to recognize achievement in finance courses, and the Henry Ford II Scholar, designating him as the top-ranking student in his class.

Thirty-six members of the class were honored as Arjay Miller Scholars, recognizing their standing as the top 10 percent of the class. Business School Dean Emeritus Arjay Miller, for whom the awards are named, presented each with a certificate.

Katherine Rollins of Brunswick, Maine, was honored by her classmates with the Ernest C. Arbuckle Award, given to a second-year student who contributed the most toward fulfilling the goals of the school.

Presiding over his first commencement since becoming dean of the Business School last September, Robert L. Joss urged students to become school ambassadors, exemplifying the quality of the program through their actions. He also urged them to make giving and community-building part of their lives. "We are only as strong as our communities. I encourage you to develop the habit of giving back . . . because that's how you build meaning in your life."

Joss also encouraged the graduates to remember their academic roots, acquired at the Business School, and to continue to stretch themselves. "You have more potential in you than you can imagine," he said. "Continue to stretch yourselves in all directions." SR