College Celebrates Graduates
with Commencement Festivities
The College of Business Administration celebrated several graduations earlier this month with ceremonies honoring 270 undergraduate students and 230 MBA students. Of those MBA students, five programs were represented with specific characteristics making each program unique for its new alumni.
The Full Time MBA program had a 2009 graduating class of 89 students who committed 17 months to the program, including a required summer internship. Most of these students had at least three years of work experience before returning to school full time, and some had much more experience than that, giving a great blend of perspectives for the class. Additionally, many of the students were part of dual enrollment programs, pursuing both an MBA in addition to a law, engineering, sports management, or agriculture-economics Master’s degree. The program celebrated a special “first” this year when program director Amy Cathey was presented with a check for over $33,500 by class representative Greg Separk to support the program’s excellence endowment.*
Unlike the Full Time MBA Program, whose students are unable to work full time due to the time constraints of the class, the college’s Center for Executive Education (CEE) is home to four unique programs for working professionals. The Professional MBA program, known by its participants as PROMBA, is a 16-month program (meeting on Saturdays and with distance learning sessions during the week) for working professionals from across the South Eastern U.S. The average PROMBA student is in his/her mid-thirties; however the program has proven to be an enormous asset to professionals of all ages. With the program’s focus being a measurable return on investment for its students’ employers, there is considerable support from those companies. This year’s class graduated 57 students, the largest in PROMBA’s history, with four students each from Clayton Homes and Eastman Chemical, and three students each from Alcoa, Cummins Filtration, and Scripps Networks.
The Executive MBA is a 12-month program for professionals with a wealth of business experience, typically ones who are in or preparing to move into senior management positions. The program consists of four residence periods and 15 distance learning sessions. The class offers an integrated curriculum, enabling the executives to immediately integrate theory with practice by advancing their own companies’ strategic projects; assignments are tied directly to the sponsoring organization and its industry, offering immediate pay-offs. The program draws executives from across the U.S. as well as from around the world. This year’s graduating class had 26 students, representing companies and organizations such as Peerless Pump, Plymouth Tube, Dover Corporation, ModusLink, and the civilian branch of the U.S. Army.
CEE’s Physician Executive MBA program (PEMBA) has been ranked #1 among physician MBA programs in the world for six consecutive years. It is a one-year, physicians-only program that emphasizes management skills in a healthcare context. Students interact with peers and faculty through quarterly on-campus residence periods; curriculum is supplemented with interactive, live, distance-learning classes every Saturday morning. Students of this program must be especially focused, as they typically have 60-80 hour work weeks and must devote roughly 25 hours a week to the program. This year’s class of 37 physicians has an average of 18 years of experience working in a wide range of specialties from emergency medicine to family practice to various surgical specialties. The class is particularly unique as they came from 23 states and three other countries (Canada, Kuwait, and Nigeria) for the program’s four residency periods.
The fourth executive program in the CEE is the Aerospace & Defense program, the only custom, executive MBA program in the U.S. attracting aerospace and defense professionals from all across the industry and all over the country. The 19 graduates in the class of 2009 represented such diverse organizations and companies as the U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin, GKN Aerospace, ATK, Northrop Grumman, Fokker, Defense Supply Center Richmond, and Rotorcraft International. Beginning with the incoming class of 2010, students will be able to earn a Lean-Sigma Green Belt or supply chain management certificate in conjunction with their MBA degree at no additional cost. Students interested in pursuing a Lean-Sigma Black Belt may apply their work in the program towards that credential as well and earn it within a few months of graduation with only a small additional cost.
Please join us in congratulating all of our newest graduates!
*See “MBA Class of 2009 Gives Back to the College of Business Administration” to learn more about the class’ successful gift campaign
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