There is no prouder moment for us than when we send our students off into the world ready to rise to the challenge and achieve great things. But before that, our annual commencement ceremonies celebrate their graduation, a most momentous occasion that shall be remembered throughout their lives. From June 15-22, 2019, over 2000 students, faculty, family members, friends and distinguished guests gathered in Barcelona, Geneva and Munich for EU Business School ’s (EU) 2019 commencement ceremonies.
The audiences were addressed by leading figures from the worlds of business and politics, including keynote speakers who all urged the graduating students to commit to making the most of this exciting new chapter in their lives and in making the world a better place.
EU also took the opportunity to present awards to outstanding businesses and individuals who have made a major contribution to their organizations, communities and beyond in the following areas: leadership and innovation, family business, entrepreneurship, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. As well as inspiring the new graduates, these awards also demonstrate EU’s commitment to making a real difference in the world. The most outstanding students and faculty were also recognized with awards for their commitment to EU Business School and its community.
The 2019 EU Business School commencement ceremony in Barcelona was joyful and triumphant. Held at the impressive Palau de Congressos de Catalunya, excitement filled the air as the elegant, stylish and proud guests arrived to celebrate the achievements of #EUClass19.
Accompanied by faculty, management and distinguished guests, jubilant students filed into the hall to the spirit-stirring sounds of Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance. Roused by a standing ovation replete with cheers and whistles from the 1,000-strong audience, the magnificent procession wound its way to take position in the hall.
Led by academic dean of EU Barcelona, Dr. Isabel Salvat, the ceremony was filled with emotion. Peter Guenter, CEO of Almirall, gave the commencement address, sharing words of wisdom and encouraging students to be all they can in pursuit of their future endeavors. Congratulations continued during the president’s speech in which Dr. Dirk Craen urged soon-to-be graduates to seize the opportunity as Young, Entrepreneurial and Successful (YES) professionals. As role models for our future graduates, awards were also conferred upon companies and individuals for outstanding performance and contribution to society.
Over 250 students were called to the podium to receive recognition and praise for their degree achievements. Special awards were also presented to students attaining the highest academic grades and to bachelor’s student Lavinia Arl for having contributed greatly to the EU community. Dacey Leutwiler and Utkarsh Choraria honored their fellow graduates with their speeches, inspiring their colleagues to be brave at the closing of one chapter in their lives and the opening of another.
The ceremony concluded with a cocktail reception in the gardens of the Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I hotel. To the soothing sounds of jazz, #EUClass2019 reminisced on the moments and experiences they had shared together while wishing each other future success.
Future graduates, family members, friends, faculty and honored guests gathered at the prestigious Hotel President Wilson situated on the shores of picturesque Lake Geneva to honor the achievements of #EUClass2019.
With emotions riding high, future graduates brought their excitement into the hall. Accompanied by management, faculty and distinguished guests and to the rousing cheers of the 400+ spectators, the graduate procession entered the hall and took their seats.
Stef de Jong, dean of EU Business School Switzerland and master of ceremonies, led the proceedings and began by welcoming the audience with wit, charm and compassion. Jacques de Watteville, chairman of the board at Banque Cantonale Vaudoise, and Adolf Ogi, former president of Switzerland, gave inspiring commencement addresses, encouraging ‘the young generation’ to strive for a better world. The president’s speech followed with messages of gratitude, pride and triumph permeating the hall.
As role models, the EU special awards were presented in collaboration with the Freude herrscht foundation to companies and individuals for outstanding performance and contribution to society. A highlight was the appearance of the robot Nao who collected the innovation award on behalf of Avatarion Technology with the company’s CEO and founder, Jean Christophe Gostanian. To his surprise and to a standing ovation, Stef de Jong was also honored in recognition of his thirty-five years of commitment and loyalty to EU Business School.
Cheers filled the hall as the 70+ students crossed in front of the podium to have their academic achievements recognized. A milestone in their careers, hands were shaken, congratulations given, and photographs taken to mark the occasion. The cheers continued as students attaining the highest academic grades, members of the student boards and faculty member Judit Kozenkow received awards for excellence.
After the ceremony, celebrations continued at the cocktail reception. Attendees sipped celebratory champagne to mark a most memorable day and to discuss the bright futures and plans of the EU Business School graduates, the international business leaders of the future.
With Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance marking the proud entrance of our future graduates, the commencement ceremony was inaugurated in the ballroom of the luxurious Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich. The ceremony was to be a defining moment in our future graduates’ lives, where they were offered wise words from special guests and speakers alike.
The master of ceremonies and academic dean of EU Business School (EU), Dr. Olivier Brenninkmeijer, warmly welcomed students, family members, friends and faculty in his opening address advising students to never stop learning. EU alumnus, CEO and co-founder of MBJ LONDON and Entrepreneurship Award recipient, Julian Baladurage, gave the commencement address. With positive words of what the future beholds, he urged students to chase their dreams, forewarning of the gap between dreams and reality, and spoke of the value of the EU alumni association for support and contacts around the world. Dr. Dirk Craen followed with an uplifting president’s speech in which he drew attention to the dynamic world in which we live and encouraged students to disrupt and seize every opportunity.
EU in collaboration with the Freude herrscht foundation conferred accolades on businesses and individuals in recognition of their outstanding performance and contribution to society. The EU awards were presented to Westwing for leadership; Giesecke+Devrient for family business; FlixMobility for sustainability; MAN for corporate social responsibility and ProGlove for innovation.
Congratulatory applause and cheers rang out from the audience as the 70+ future graduates were individually invited to step up to receive recognition for their academic achievement. The cheering continued as Paul Innerebner and Rakesh Ravin Marthankandy Chakkara collected the awards for distinguished student achievement and lecturer Andreas Bange for excellence in teaching at the hand of Svetlana Elinova, EU registrar.
With optimism beaming from the audience, Leona Mrackova and Rakesh Ravin Marthankandy Chakkara congratulated their fellow students with their inspiring graduate speeches, wishing them all great success in the future. After well-wishing and praising, the elated graduates accompanied by peers, family and friends went on to celebrate at the post-ceremony cocktail reception, marking the end to this momentous day.
Dr. Craen concluded each ceremony with a warm and uplifting address to the students:
“We are honored to celebrate the hard work and dedication. Today you join our 27,000-strong global alumni network through which you will have access to a wealth of information and a close-knit alumni community of global business leaders. We look forward to seeing the class of 2019 achieving greatness and becoming game changers.”
EU Business School would once again like to extend its congratulations to the Class of 2019 and wish them prosperity and success in the future.