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Junior Executive Business Program celebrates senior success

Monday, May 9 2016 12:00am

Last Friday, seven Junior Executive Business Program (JEBP) seniors were celebrated with songs, words of wisdom, and more than a few tears. The presentation of certificates was bookended with remarks and tributes, advice, and best wishes from alumni, family, and friends.

“These graduates are joining the community of Junior Executive Alumni making a difference in the world,” said Beatrice Selotlegeng, director of the KeyBank Junior Executive Business Program. The keynote address was given by Dr. Chris Moberg, a JEBP Faculty Mentor and associate dean in the College of Business.

Moberg gave the graduates three pieces of advice.

“First, savor the important people and moments in your day to day life,” proceeding to remind students to live in the present by avoiding the technology trap that can prevent people from interacting in person. He continued by reminding students to enjoy the small things, from mashed potatoes to celebrating moments with friends. Finally, Moberg reminded students that kindness is important. “Nice matters. It matters what kind of person you are and kindness is important.”

As they were awarded their certificate of completion, each graduate was given the opportunity to address the room.

The majors and colleges were varied and included nine majors representing four colleges. But, the wide-ranging interests didn’t keep students from feeling connected with each other and the University. Upon receiving her certificate from the dean of the College of Business, Hugh Sherman, Nia Davis said, “The Junior Exec program created a place for me in the University. Because of this program, I felt a sense of belonging and family.”

In addition to family, friends, faculty, and staff, the event was attended by Jacqueline George, a member of the College’s Executive Advisory Board, her husband Tony and their granddaughter Madison. The George’s founded a scholarship for Junior Executive students in the College of Business. The first Jackie and Tony George Scholar to graduate, Brandon Foote, expressed his gratitude during the ceremony. “The Junior Executive Business Program was my first major experience on a college campus and it opened my eyes to how independent college students have to be,” said Foote. “As I graduate, it was the Jackie and Tony [George] Scholarship that made it all possible.”

As the celebration drew to a close, graduating seniors heard from a Junior Exec alumnae Kierra Barclay there celebrating her sister, Karris’s graduation. “You found a place where you could forge your own path and be embraced by a community. Continue to foster amazing relationships and remember that your path was there all along. It was your character.”