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Life is like a venture investment, biotech entrepreneur tells business graduates

Over 600 D’Amore-McKim School of Business graduates received master’s degrees from Northeastern University on August 30 in Matthews Arena. Graduates were encouraged by keynote speaker Dr. Gerald Chan to live lives that make them and their loved ones proud.

D’Amore-McKim School of Business graduates were honored at the Northeastern University graduation ceremony on August 30 in Matthews Arena where 671 degrees were conferred.

Graduation keynote speaker, Dr. Gerald Chan, a biotechnology entrepreneur and philanthropist, told graduates that life is like investing in a venture.

“No wonder that life can be at times so scary and at other times so exhilarating,” he said. “Even if you were not investing monetarily, your every action in life is an investment of your time.”

Chan co-founded Morningside Group, a private investment firm, where he funds life sciences startups that are working to discover new ways to treat disease.

Dr. Gerald Chan.

He encouraged graduates to live a life that makes themselves and their loved ones proud. He recalled a story about his father refusing to take a job at a casino because of its shady business practices.

“Had he accepted that offer, our family would have become financially richer,” he said. “But because he acted on his ethical principles against his own economic interest, my family can stand tall today,” he said.

Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun concentrated on the impact that AI will have on the future of work. During his charge at the end of the ceremony, he urged graduates to hone in on traits that differentiate humans from robots, such as innovation, ethical judgement, and creativity.

“As technology continues to reshape the world, new roads for learning will open before you,” Aoun said. “Be bold in traveling them. Take the initiative, for you will find artificial intelligence racing forward.”

Trustee Alan McKim, Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun, Dunton Family Dean Raj Echambadi, and Trustee Richard D'Amore.

Dunton Family Dean of the D’Amore-McKim School of Business Raj Echambadi told graduates he knows they are ready to thrive in a technology-driven world because they have gained real-world experience, pursued new professional goals, and learned from one another on a global scale.

“My hope for you is that you will utilize your Northeastern experiences and become impactful ethical leaders,” Echambadi said.

Jacqueline Quill, MBA’18, delivered the student address and recounted three lessons she learned from her time in the MBA program: to be confident and work hard, to recognize the importance of listening to other people’s ideas, and to take action in the workplace to get things done.

Jacqueline Quill, MBA18.

Earlier in the day, The Beta Gamma Sigma Honors Society Ceremony was held in the Curry Student Center. Beta Gamma Sigma is an esteemed honor society reserved for the top 20 percent of a graduating business master’s class.

148 graduates were inducted into the society.

Graduating seniors selected full-time lecturer of finance Mark Gooley to be the recipient of the D’Amore-McKim Best Teacher Award. The accolade was established in 1992 by a group of students who wanted to create a way to acknowledge the teachers who had the most significant impact on their experience.

Julie Chasse, director of the Graduate School of Professional Accounting, presented the Finucane Award named in honor of Dan Finucane, a graduate business student who lost his life in a tragic accident. The graduate business class of 1987 created a scholarship in memory of their classmate. The award is given to a student who most embodies Finucane’s spirit: a combination of scholarship, leadership, and friendship. This award was presented to Margaret Gorman, MSA/MBA’18.

“Receiving this award affirmed so many things for me, and I am glad to know that I had an impact, no matter how small, on those around me,” said Gorman. “I am so thankful to all of you professors and administrators who keep the MSA/MBA running and make a career in business a reality for students like me, who may otherwise have felt they lacked the educational background and skills to enter the mysterious world of Public Accounting.”

Read more on News at Northeastern.