Congratulations to the Class of 2018!

After a week packed with pre-graduation festivities — including a camping trip, scavenger hunt, a Rochester Red Wings baseball game, and the Dean’s picnic — Simon celebrated commencement on Saturday, June 10 at 10 a.m. in the Eastman Theatre. This year, 537 graduates became newly-minted alumni.

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Members of the Class of 2018 gathered to take a pre-graduation photo in caps and gowns on the University of Rochester athletic field.

This year’s commencement ceremony honored Jihan Cooke, a student who passed away after a battle with cancer this year, with a posthumous degree, a memorial song, and honor stoles representative of Cooke’s home country, Jamaica. Cooke began her MBA degree in July 2016 and was a valued member of the Simon community, exceptionally involved in both academic and extracurricular activities. She was elected as vice president of communications of the Simon Finance and Investment Club, vice president of communications & marketing of the Simon School Venture Fund, and president of the Simon Dance Club. The Simon community supported Cooke throughout her battle and played an integral role in raising over $28,000 for her and her family.

This year’s commencement address was given by Stephen E. Rogers, who was also the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Rogers earned his bachelor’s degree from the Sacramento State College of Business Administration and graduated with his MBA in Finance and Accounting from Simon Business School in 1990. He is an experienced board member with a history of working in both profit and non-profit industries. His strong entrepreneurship skills and experience in management, governance, and investments have expanded his volunteer capacities, particularly for his alma mater.

As a member of the Simon National Council and Simon Executive Advisory Committee, his valued mentorship to students and alumni and willingness to serve as an event host has strengthened countless connections throughout the Bay Area. He is dedicated alumnus and has consistently supported the students, alumni, and intellectual capacity of the Simon Business School.

Simon also awarded an honorary degree to Ronald H. Fielding, who graduated from Simon with his MA in 1973 and with his MBA in 1976. Fielding was an adjunct professor at RIT and the Graduate School of Management (the predecessor of the Simon School) from 1975-1982, while doing corporate finance and bond portfolio work at two Rochester banks. Fielding serves on the Simon National Council and the Simon Advisory Committee. A tremendous advocate of scholarships, he established the Ronald H. Fielding Scholarship Fund in 1996 to provide support for Simon students. In 2017 the School elevated the Fielding Fellows to become the premier scholarship offered by Simon. He is the 1995 recipient of the Simon Distinguished Alumnus Award and 2014 recipient of the Simon Dean’s Medal, the School’s highest honor.

We wish all of our graduates the best of luck in their future endeavors! Come back to visit us as often as possible!

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