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Moments from Commencement

Simon Business School

Not ‘business as usual’: Expecting the world to be equal and equitable

The University of Rochester’s Simon Business School conferred degrees to the graduating Class of 2021 in a pair of ceremonies on May 16 organized to respect social distancing guidelines and gathering limits brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The social and cultural upheaval of the past 14 months was a prominent theme throughout the events on Rochester’s historic Eastman Quadrangle. As the masked graduates sat in socially distanced rows, they were celebrated for persevering despite the pandemic, for helping one another achieve their goals while moving to remote learning, and for recognizing that racial injustice and inequity need to be addressed in order for all members of society to be successful.

In remarks as a representative of the MBA Class of 2021, Jessica Lynn Garhart ’21S (MBA) praised her classmates for working to bring about change.

“From a global pandemic to a historic civil rights movement, we experienced one of the most challenging years in recent memory,” she said. “And while others might have lowered their expectations as they began the second year of their MBA, we raised ours. Where others might have thrown up their hands, we saw opportunity. In every new crisis we faced, we relentlessly searched for solutions. We as a class, and as a generation are asking for more. We expect the world not only to be equal but to be equitable.”

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