Hope, Humor and Keys to Success: Saluting the LeBow Class of 2023
Each year’s graduation season comes with a mix of looking back and looking forward. For nearly 900 graduates from the Bennett S. LeBow College of Business and the School of Economics in the Class of 2023, these dual themes stretched throughout the June 15 ceremony at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.
After a heartfelt invocation by Noor Jemy ’16, MS ‘20, assistant director of LeBow’s Graduate Student Services, Drexel President John Fry observed the uncertainty of the present moment, citing survey results and trends in politics, society and technology that point toward pessimism or dread.
He then pivoted to note how well prepared this year’s graduates are to address these systemic issues and turn the tide: “I’m not worried about this class… Our society is very lucky to have you join the ranks of innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders.”
LeBow Dean and R. John Chapel Jr. Dean’s Chair Vibhas Madan, PhD, picked up this hopeful thread in his remarks.
“As you head off on your next adventure, remember: Our world needs you,” he said. “It needs the many contributions that you will make in your professional, civic and personal lives.”
Two graduates were tasked with summing up the experiences and perspectives of the Class of 2023. Undergraduate speaker Meelan Dullabh, BSBA business analytics, international business and marketing ’23, took a humorous, reflective look at their years at Drexel, with acknowledgments of dorms, dining halls, late nights and friendships, while graduate student speaker Monique Boskett, MBA ’23, observed how perseverance through both global and individual challenges has marked their experiences as students.
As keynote speaker, K. Blair Christie ’94, MBA ’99 looked back at her business career — from job interviews and one-on-ones with CEOs, all the way back to mailing Christmas cards as a co-op student during her undergraduate studies at Drexel — to conjure up what she termed keys to success in life: luck, grit and love.
After recognition for those graduates who achieved high academic honors, President Fry and Dean Madan presented Charles Pizzi, a Drexel Trustee, longtime Philadelphia business leader and former president, CEO and director of Tasty Baking Company, with an honorary doctorate.
The culmination of the ceremony brought the bestowing of doctoral hoods on 19 Doctorate of Business Administration graduates and 11 PhD in Business Administration graduates, and the awarding of diplomas to nearly 600 undergraduates and over 200 MS and MBA graduates.
The ceremony concluded with notes of gratitude and a tribute to graduates’ family and friends, delivered by Paula Cardona, BSBA accounting ’23.