Go and Change the World
Graduates were challenged to go and change the world at the Huntsman School graduation ceremonies on May 2, 2015. Following the general USU commencement in the morning, the Huntsman School graduated 721 students, including 162 through its China Cooperative Program and a further 207 graduate students. A total of 400 students walked during the ceremony and heard from valedictorian Tanner Boden, commencement speaker Crystal Maggelet, and Dean Douglas Anderson.
Tanner Boden, who graduated with a 4.0 in Marketing and is headed to eBay, encouraged the graduates to focus on people, even in this age of technology, because “books and computers only hold information. People hold knowledge. I define knowledge as the ability to interpret information, understand, and problem solve.” He also noted that he learned about himself in college, and that “by learning about ourselves in college we are able to mitigate our weaknesses and capitalize on our strengths.”
Crystal Maggelet, a 2008 Huntsman School Distinguished Executive Alumnus and long-time member of the school’s National Advisory Board, spoke of ethical leadership and entrepreneurial spirit, two of the Huntsman School strategic pillars that have served her well in her life and career. Recalling a childhood lesson in integrity, she stated: "I remembered the mistake I had made that day and the valuable lesson my mother had taught me. The values my parents instilled in me have played an important part in my life.” Speaking of entrepreneurial spirit, she recalled her first job, at age 13, harvesting potatoes. "I would stand in a potato pit by a conveyer belt and pull dirt clods and vines from the newly harvested potatoes before they were stored. It was very hard work, but I loved being productive and being paid for it. It made me happy coming home at night covered in dirt, and knowing after 2 weeks of this I would get a $350 check at thirteen.
Productivity and hard work make us happy. In some parts of the world there are people who have nothing and walk miles each day just for water yet they are happy. They are productive. Hard work will always be a part of success. Nothing comes easy.”
Dean Anderson, in introducing Crystal Maggelet, noted that “her personal and direct involvement to take Flying J through bankruptcy and coming out the other side even stronger, while taking care of her employees and bond holders, is truly extraordinary. I am amazed every time I hear how deftly she guided the company through a massive restructuring and more importantly, her incredible ethical leadership in taking care of the company’s most important asset, the people.”
Dean Anderson closed the ceremony by imploring the graduates to go and change the world. Recounting the refreshing of the curriculum, the world-class faculty and extraordinary outside-the-classroom opportunities afforded through the Huntsman School, he noted that the foundational reason to come to the Huntsman School, and to study business, was to change the world.