The Bittersweet Goodbye: A Message to Our Graduates

Each year when the summer ends and the fall begins, the halls here at Fuqua begin to fill and the excitement is almost palpable.  The CASE team gets to meet a new group of bright, energetic students, hear about their passions and dreams, and spend the next two years helping them build the skills that they will need to succeed.

But as each year winds down, the emotions that we feel become much more bittersweet.  Happy that we’ve made it through another year of great programming, interactions with inspiring social entrepreneurs, and thought provoking research and debate. But also sad to say goodbye to our graduating students.

Fortunately, that sadness at having to say goodbye is always mixed with a sincere sense of hope and pride.  As the diplomas are handed out, we know that the the world is a better place because of these talented young leaders who are now equipped with business skills and a commitment to use those skills to make a difference in the world.

So recently, amidst the graduation ceremonies and festivities, we said our “see you soons” to this year’s graduating students.  We wish them all the best in everything they do. A quote from John Gardner (recently posted on the Acumen Fund blog) is advice that we hope will serve as a guidepost to our students as they begin their post-MBA lives and careers:

“Meaning is not something you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are there. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you.”

To our wonderful students —

We can’t wait to see the unique pattern that you weave with your lives. Keep in touch, keep following your passions and make all of your dreams come true.

And, of course, keep having fun! …