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MBA 25 Years: A Celebration of the Graduate Business Program

Thursday, May 29, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Angeline Boyer
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Change can create new challenges and can be difficult to accept; however change can be inspiring and is necessary for growth.

Change and development were the primary focus of many of the conversations at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Master’s in Business Administration program at Saint Peter’s University.

On May 28, alumni and friends of the University gathered in The Duncan Family Sky Room to celebrate the past, present and future of the graduate business program. The celebration began with an introduction from Lou Ruvolo ’80, ’08, director of the graduate business program at Saint Peter’s University, who discussed the changes in the program over the years. “We are thrilled to come together tonight to celebrate what began 25 years ago with a cohort of 16 students and one concentration in management information systems. Here we are 25 years later with an enrollment of 330 students, with classes at two campuses and two corporate locations with eight concentrations ranging from finance to health care administration to risk management to international business,” he said.

The celebration continued with a special honor for the man who is credited with founding the MBA program, Alessandro Calianese, Ph.D. ’56. Dr. Calianese served as a member of the Saint Peter’s community for more than five decades and is credited with founding the MBA and computer science programs at the University. He was presented with a Petrean Medal for his extraordinary service and accomplishments for his work that helped to make Saint Peter’s what it is today. The Petrean Medal recognizes individuals and groups for their dedication and service to others. Calianese took the stage to share the story behind how the MBA program developed from a simple idea to a successful degree program.

The change and growth of the MBA program wasn’t the only focus of the evening’s conversation. Terrence J. Checki ’67, distinguished visiting fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and former vice president and head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Emerging Markets and International Affairs Group, served as the keynote speaker at the event. During his presentation titled, “A Perspective on the Changing Global Landscape,” Checki discussed the changes he has seen in Jersey City and Saint Peter’s, as well as how the world is significantly changing at a rapid pace. “Now change is generally a good thing, but when what is important changes and the way you look at it doesn’t, the likelihood is that you will be surprised in ways that sometimes won’t be so pleasant,” he said.

Checki discussed the current economy and how there has been a transfer of economic power over the past generation. He demonstrated how significantly other countries, such as China and India, have grown within the past few years and how Americans need to be aware that these countries are competition. He provided advice for how to deal with these international competitors.

While change was the focus of the discussion at the MBA 25 Years celebration, the advice from Dr. Calianese and Checki echoed the importance of one’s values and one’s foundation. Particularly, the values and foundation many develop at Saint Peter’s.

“There are no words of wisdom I can give you, as most of you have chosen your way of life at this point, but there are two things that someone said essentially 2,000 years ago that are worth repeating. Both are close to home. The first is the Saint Peter’s motto, cura personalis or personal care. If you treat everyone with personal care, you can’t help but lead a satisfied life and also fulfill the second, which is the motto of the Jesuits, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, or ‘For the greater glory of God,’” said Dr. Calianese. 

Checki shared similar sentiments in his advice to a question from a recent graduate interested in pursuing a career in finance. Checki suggested recent graduates “bring their values to work.” He went on to thank the Jesuits at Saint Peter’s for helping him develop into the person he is today.

Many of the guests left the event with excellent feedback. R. Patricio Caceres ’13, graduated with a master’s in business administration with a concentration in international business from Saint Peter’s. Caceres works for Pershing LLC, and deals with global relationship management in Latin American markets. He explained that this was why a graduate degree focused on international business was the right path for him. He was very happy he had the opportunity to come back to campus to celebrate the MBA program. “I was very impressed with Terrence Checki. It was excellent to hear from such an intelligent and accomplished man,” he said.

During the celebration, the University announced a specific fund, which was created to support the graduate business program. To make a gift to the fund, please click here. To view photos from the event, please click here

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