On Saturday, June 11, the 2016 Commencement for the Foster School of Business took place underneath characteristically cloudy and drizzly Seattle skies. But inside Meany Hall, the sun was shining brightly as over 200 Full-time MBA, Evening MBA, and PhD students were joined by faculty, staff, friends, and family to celebrate the successful completion of their degrees.
Delivering the student speech, Full-time MBA student Becky See focused on the opportunities that exist for her and her fellow classmates to make an impact on their communities. “I am not asking for Bill & Melinda Gates-level impact necessarily,” said See. “Sure, that would be amazing. But, I am also thinking about day to day impact, like making sure everyone at the conference table gets a voice, sitting on a nonprofit board, or investing more time in your family and community than in your bank account. You can make your own definition of “world,” but do not let that world pass you by.”
In his keynote address, Howard Behar, the former CEO of Starbucks, continued this theme of impact and service as he challenged the graduates to always put the people of the business first, no matter their rank within the company. “I believe what you have just been given is an obligation to serve others. It doesn’t make any difference what job you have or what industry you work in,” said Behar. “I hope that you will always remember why you are here and what you stand for: to serve people.”