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School of Business

Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Graduating School of Business master’s student Khadijah Nimrod encouraged her fellow graduates to take responsibility for the future. Anne McBride | Hatchet Staff Photographer

At the School of Business master’s and doctoral programs celebration in the Smith Center Friday, students, faculty, family and friends gathered to watch as graduate students were recognized for their achievements.

The graduates heard words of advice from speakers, who stressed the importance of cherishing accomplishments, like the ceremony, and never accepting failure.

1. Always in a hurry

Keynote speaker Baroness Joanna Shields, the United Kingdom Minister for Internet Safety and Security who earned her MBA from GW in 1987, said that she did not attend her GW graduation.

“Coming back to GW has been surprisingly emotional in terms of a homecoming,” Shields said. “I have never been one to look back or take time to appreciate achievements, in fact, I will confess to you here today that I didn’t attend my own graduation ceremony.”

Shields said she was in “too much of a hurry” to attend the ceremony. She said being in a hurry has facilitated her unrelenting drive and quick responses, but has often made her miss out.

“Over time I have realized the importance of appreciating a moment like this,” Shields said. “It gives you time to reflect and thank those that have supported you and contemplate the role you will play in the future.”

2. Breaking down walls

Shields said that when she graduated from GW in 1987 the world was a different place. She said it was just before President Ronald Reagan challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin wall.

“Years later we are building new walls, isolating ourselves and keeping people out,” Shields said. “There are many factors driving this rhetoric.”

Shields said that one of those walls is the Internet, because while there are millions of people active online and communication is expanding, it can also be isolating. She said there is no denying that intolerance and online social discourse is redefining what is important.

“Change is the new normal. We need to embrace it by being certain in our own actions,” Shields said. “At a time when we are harnessing the power of data and making machines more intelligent to serve us better, I think it is incumbent upon all of us to ensure that human intelligence, empathy and compassion are always factored into the equation.”

3. ‘Failure is not an option”

Student speaker Khadijah Nimrod, who graduated with a master’s in tourism administration, drew inspiration from a quote by Beverly Kearney. “My hero is my history and my history is a legacy of people who have triumphed over tragedy who have succeeded in spite of the oppression how can I fail because they have taught me failure is not an option,” Nimrod quoted Kearney.

Nimrod said the future depends on what the graduates do today, and one day the graduates before her will be “the heroes guiding others to success.”

4. One last assignment

Linda Livingstone, the dean of the business school, said this week’s graduation marks an important milestone in the graduates’ lives and that faculty and staff in the school look forward to what the graduates accomplish.

“As you leave here and carry with you the legacy of George Washington with a degree granted by the authority of Congress that is truly an only at GW experience,” Livingstone said. “Onward and upward.”

Vivek Chourdhury, the associate dean of graduate programs, concluded the ceremony with “one last assignment,” asking everyone in the audience to rise and make as much noise as possible.

“Now I would like all of you to stand as a School of Business and I would like all of our guests, family and friends to make as much noise as possible to let all of Foggy Bottom and all of the world know that we are here,” Chourdhury said.

Like these photos? You can purchase your personal photo from this graduation ceremony online at:

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Duques Hall, School of Business

The GW School of Business announced three new concentrations for its business administration major. Media Credit: Hatchet file photo.

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Lila Weatherly.

The School of Business is adding more concentration options for students this fall, building on a series of recent curriculum changes at the school.

Concentrations in accountancy, entrepreneurship and business analytics will become available for students in the business school in the fall semester, a university official confirmed last week. The school now offers a total of nine outlined concentrations, including international business and marketing, for students majoring in business administration.

Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, the associate dean of undergraduate programs at the school who’s leaving GW in September to lead McGill University’s business school, said in an email that the concentration in accountancy gives students in the school an option to receive a general business education without losing out on learning more about accountancy. The school also offers a bachelors degree in accountancy, which requires more accounting classes and fewer business core courses, like marketing.

“The concentration in accountancy was created to provide students with the opportunity to study more accountancy while providing them with the breadth in business associated with the B.B.A. curriculum,” she said.

She also said that the entrepreneurship concentration will be a more distinctive opportunity for business students at GW.

Students have the opportunity to apply to create their own concentration within their business administration major if the nine options offered don’t suit them. A popular one of those create-your-own concentrations turned out to be entrepreneurship, Bajeux-Besnainou said.

“The concentration in entrepreneurship was the single most selected individualized field of concentration in our B.B.A. program,” she said. “It will provide our students with a unique perspective and knowledge about innovation and entrepreneurship.”

GW has amped up its focus on entrepreneurship in recent years, with faculty working to create a minor in entrepreneurship and participation in programs like the GW Business Plan increasing.

Bill Holder, the dean of the Leventhal School of Accounting at the University of Southern California, said accounting skills are an important foundation for a business student to have, especially one considering starting their own businesses.

“[Investors] are going to want to know, what are the financial prospects here?” he said.

Holder said that, for this reason, entrepreneurship and accounting are extremely valuable — not only separately, but together.

“The primary focus is the vision for the business you’re going to launch and try to nurture to success, but understanding those metrics, understanding those cash flows and performance, are all important to the entrepreneur in order to be successful,” Holder said.

The concentration in business analytics, which focuses on interpreting massive amounts of data, has the potential to bring in more students to the business school, said Murat Tarimcilar, a decision sciences professor who took part in putting the concentration together, in April.

Graduate schools enrollment across the University have declined in the past few years, placing a larger emphasis on increasing undergraduate enrollment.

Officials say that the new concentrations will have the same field requirements as all previous ones, including five courses in the field of each concentration and one international field course. This formula differs from the ten field courses and one international field course required for a major, potentially allowing students to double-concentrate.

The concentration addition comes along a string of improvements at the business school. The school announced in January 2013 a new bachelor of science in finance, the requirements of which were streamlined in April.

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Candidates rush to get their posters hung outside of Marvin. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Candidates rush to get their posters hung outside the Marvin Center. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Catherine Moran.

Student Association candidates and their supporters covered campus with posters for their campaigns early Monday morning.

While you were sleeping, here’s what the morning looked like for students hoping to secure a position on the SA.

6:30 a.m.

Team members began grouping together in Kogan Plaza, braving the early morning darkness and chill.

“It’s a nightmare,” said Alyssa Weakley, who’s running for undergraduate School of Business senator. “It’s crazy, but it’s exciting.”

Executive vice presidential candidate Casey Syron said the posters were a way for candidates to have fun with their campaigns.

“It’s such a fun event that lets you geek out about politics,” he said.

7 a.m.

A few minutes before 7 a.m., the groups made their way to the H street Kogan Plaza entrance and waited for the signal to start postering.

Seconds later, a crowd raced toward the Marvin Center. Smaller groups hurried over to Phillips Hall or sprinted to University Yard.

7:15 a.m.

Supporters of candidates place posters outside of Marvin. Judy Lim | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Supporters of different candidates taped up posters early Monday morning. Judy Lim | Hatchet Staff Photographer

As the sun rose, the walls by the J Street entrance became covered in packing tape and multicolored posters. Team members ran supplies back and forth between the Marvin Center and Phillips Hall.

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate senator candidate Erika Feinman said she preferred using social media over hanging up posters for her campaign.

“Everyone does something different,” she said.

EVP candidate Carlo Wood said he only hung up three or four posters to best utilize his campaign budget. EVP candidates are allowed to spend up to $1,000 on their campaigns.

“Moving forward, I hope this sets a precedent for others to feel comfortable to participate in future elections,” he said.

7:30 a.m.

Thirty minutes after the start time, the candidates and crowds had left, with only their posters as marks of the hundreds who came out earlier in the morning.

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GW's online programs in education and business saw their rankings increase this year, while the School of Nursing's ranking slipped. Hatchet file photo.

GW’s online programs in education and business rose in the rankings this year, while the School of Nursing’s ranking slipped. Hatchet File Photo

GW’s education and business online programs rebounded in the U.S. News & World Report rankings.

The programs, which dropped in the rankings last year, shot up this year. The School of Nursing fell from last year’s all-time high.

The annual rankings come as GW has placed a higher priority on offering new online degree programs to attract more students and make up for a decline in graduate enrollment. Nationally, fewer students have applied to graduate school as the economy has picked up since the 2008 recession.

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development jumped into the top 10 of online graduate education programs, tying at No. 8 with Auburn and Ball State universities.

The school, which is in the middle of an 18-month plan to increase enrollment and introduce new academic programs, saw enrollment drop 22 percent over the past five years, according to the most recent data. The school was ranked No. 44 for graduate education schools last year.

The GW School of Business’ online MBA program also shot up, jumping 20 spots to No. 44. Its non-MBA online programs were ranked No. 22.

The school’s online rankings dropped last year after former dean Doug Guthrie was fired for the school overspending by about $13 million, much of which went toward online programs. The school added four new online programs in 2012.

Paul Schiff Berman, vice provost for online learning and academic innovation, has led online learning at GW for the last two years. Hatchet File Photo

Paul Schiff Berman, vice provost for online learning and academic innovation, has led online learning at GW for the last two years. Hatchet File Photo

The programs are evaluated based on selectivity, reputation among peer schools and services provided to students.

GW’s School of Nursing, which came in at No. 4 last year, fell to No. 9, tying with Duquesne and Graceland universities and the University of Texas–Tyler.

The nursing school has kept its enrollment steady, since most of its graduate programs are offered online.

The University’s online bachelor’s programs, most of which are housed in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, jumped to No. 20, a large increase from last year’s ranking at No. 56.

Last year, GW introduced an in-house shop to make it easier for faculty to create online courses and degree programs. The University could launch at least six new online degree programs this year.

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Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 12:32 p.m.

Alumnus, trustee to donate $2 million to GW

A member of the GW Board of Trustees has pledged a $2 million gift for academics and athletics, the University announced Thursday.

Avram “Ave” Tucker, who graduated from GW with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1977, will divide his gift among the athletics department, the GW School of Business and the GW Law School, according to a University release.

Tucker will give $750,000 to support faculty research in the business school, and $250,000 will go to the law school’s endowed fund for the government contracts associate dean.

“While at the time I didn’t really understand it, [the School of Business] spent a lot of time teaching us how to think, and be creative and come up with solutions,” he said in the release. “That’s served me very well in my career.”

The other $1 million from the gift will go to the athletics department, with half going to construction of a new clubhouse and the other half to the Buff and Blue Fund, which launched two years ago to increase unrestricted annual giving to GW’s athletics programs.

The Board of Trustees voted last month to name the baseball field at Barcroft Park in Tucker’s honor. The field will be dedicated on Saturday.

Tucker attended GW on a baseball scholarship during his junior and senior years. He is now a forensic accountant and the co-founder and chief executive officer of TM Financial Forensics, LLC. He joined the Board of Trustees in June 2013 after spending 16 years on the business school’s advisory board.

“I am delighted that Ave Tucker has chosen to support the university in such a range of important ways, each of which means so much to him personally,” University President Steven Knapp said in the release.

Tucker’s donation follows Mark Shenkman’s $5 million gift, the largest-ever from a sitting trustee. GW renamed Ivory Tower in Shenkman’s honor.

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Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 12:51 p.m.

Junior pronounced dead at local hospital

A junior was pronounced dead Friday morning at a local hospital, D.C. police have told the University.

The male student, who was studying in the GW School of Business, was found in an off-campus apartment, according to a statement from GW. His family has been notified, and the University has not released his name.

The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the case. An MPD spokesman could not immediately provide more information Saturday morning.

The University’s Division of Student Affairs is “reaching out directly to those students most affected by this devastating loss to offer support,” according to the statement. Members of the community can contact the University Counseling Center at 202-994-5300.

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Updated: July 17, 2014 at 5:01 p.m.

The ousted dean of GW’s business school was one of the architects behind D.C.’s latest plan to kickstart the local economy.


Doug Guthrie, former dean of the GW School of Business, helped craft Gray’s economic plan. Hatchet File Photo

Doug Guthrie, who was fired from the deanship last August after the school overspent its budget by $13 million, spent the last eight months as part of a working group that crafted a three-year economic plan in the final year of Mayor Vincent Gray’s administration.

Guthrie left the University on June 30 to “pursue other professional opportunities,” University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said. He is now a visiting scholar at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, according to a release from the mayor’s office.

Gray announced Wednesday the new strategy, which aims to spur development and start-up innovation. He brought Guthrie on as an adviser in December, just four months after he was fired for allegedly mismanaging the business school’s budget.

After losing in the April Democratic primary to Muriel Bowser, Gray’s economic strategy will go into effect in the final months of a lame duck administration.

If successful, the plan would create 10,000 jobs over the next three years while expanding the city’s tax base.

Vincent Gray, mayor

Mayor Vincent Gray announced a three-year economic development plan Wednesday. Hatchet File Photo.

The advisory group that crafted the strategy also included economic advisers in the deputy mayor’s office and consultants from the Kellogg consulting firm. They conducted 133 interviews with civic and business communities across the city, according to the release.

“The future of the creative economy in Washington, DC, is tied to visionary entrepreneurs and artists who have built it thus far, and government leaders like Mayor Gray who recognized that the District’s promise lies in its ability to draw creative individuals and innovative companies and nonprofits to its borders,” Guthrie said in the release. He did not immediately return a request for comment.

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The University’s highest governing body unanimously approved an endowed scholarship in the GW School of Business funded by an anonymous donor Friday.

The donor requested that the amount remain unspecified, but Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Mike Morsberger said the donation was greater than $1 million.

The gift marks the University’s 21st donation this academic year that totaled at least $1 million, putting GW on par with the number of large gifts it received last year. Morsberger said he expected several more gifts of that size by the end of the fiscal year in June.

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Masters of business graduates celebrated their degrees at a ceremony Thursday. Erica Christian | Photo Editor

Master’s of business graduates celebrate at a ceremony Thursday. Erica Christian | Photo Editor

More than 500 students graduated from the School of Business with master’s degrees Thursday at a ceremony that encouraged them to look forward, but not forget the lessons learned at GW.

Seniors snapped selfies from the audience as they heard from Hossein Fateh, the chief executive officer and co-founder of DuPont Fabros Technology. Fateh, a double alumnus, shared the story of how he founded the first real estate investment trust for data centers that now touts clients like Microsoft and Facebook.

Here are five takeaways from Fateh’s speech, and the rest of the ceremony:

1. Fateh: “Take calculated risk”

Hossein Fateh, CEO of DuPont Fabros Technology, told business graduates they are in the perfect time and place for success at the specialized masters ceremony. Erica Christian | Photo Editor

Hossein Fateh, CEO of DuPont Fabros Technology, told business students they are graduating at the perfect time and in the best place for success. Erica Christian | Photo Editor

Fateh learned about the business world by working as the go-to assistant for a bankruptcy acquisition company after graduating from GW. He said he took a risk when he launched DuPont Fabros Technology with long-time friend Lammot DuPont, but it paid off because he had hands-on experience working in mergers and take-overs.

By anticipating risk, and finding creative ways to present ideas, graduates will succeed at a time when technology, energy and capital have aligned for modern business, Fateh said.

2. When you go in, go all in

To be successful, graduates cannot hesitate, Fateh said. He told a story of how he waited 50 hours in a conference room to join forces with another company and buy a bankrupt firm. Although DuPont Fabros only bought the firm’s real estate, they sold it a year later for nearly double what they had purchased it for.

“When you’ve calculated the risk, when you know in your bones that it’s right, go all in,” Fateh said.

3. Looking forward to globalization

Student speaker Maria Florencia Bocca, who plans to earn a master’s degree in finance this summer, came to GW after working at a brokerage firm and boutique investment bank in Argentina. Bocca, who grew up fascinated by international markets and finance, said students must think globally, as international business becomes more predominant.

“As a new generation of financial experts, we have the obligation to be a positive part of the change facing the industry. It will be our responsibility to demonstrate the value of financial institutions to the economic well-being of society,” she said.

4. Carrying on traditions

Interm Dean Christopher Kayes charged business school graduates to carry on the traditions of George Washington as they move forward in their professional lives Thursday. Erica Christian | Photo Editor

Interm Dean Christopher Kayes charged business school graduates with carrying on the traditions of George Washington as they move forward in their professional lives Thursday. Erica Christian | Photo Editor

Interim Dean Christopher Kayes reminded graduates of the University’s namesake. He said once they become alumni, they must carry George Washington’s ideals – such as integrity and leadership – into their professional lives.

“The name George Washington is now inseparable from you. It will remain a part of your day-to-day life for years to come,” he said.

5. Seize the right opportunities

Both Fateh and Kayes encouraged graduates to consider all opportunities, but also recognize when they are presented with luck and good timing.

“You’re privileged to be here. Don’t waste it. Thank you and good luck, but don’t forget to grab luck as it goes by,” Fateh said as he ended his speech.

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Photo courtesy of Deloitte.

Photo courtesy of Deloitte.

The chief executive officer of an auditing, consulting and financial advisory company will keynote the GW School of Business’ graduation ceremony next month.

Barry Salzberg, the CEO of Deloitte Global, is the first business school speaker in four years to not have earned a degree from GW. He will speak about “leadership, career development and the value of education” on May 16, interim dean Christopher Kayes said in a statement Monday.

Salzberg said Deloitte, a partner of the school’s corporate governance project, employs many GW business school alumni.

“We look forward to further strengthening our ties to GWSB with each graduating class,” he said in the statement.

As global CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, Salzberg leads a network of 47 firms in more than 150 countries. He joined the Deloitte organization in 1977, and has served as global CEO for the past three years.

Gil Yancy, executive director of the business school’s F. David Fowler Career Center, said Salzberg was “uniquely positioned to speak to our students about the challenges of a global environment and their responsibilities to society.”

A Brooklyn, N.Y. native, Salzberg received his undergraduate degree in accounting from Brooklyn College, his law degree from Brooklyn Law School and his master of laws from the New York University School of Law. He spoke at the graduation ceremony for Georgetown University’s business school two years ago.

He is chairman of the board of College Summit, a nonprofit that works to help low-income high school students attend college. Salzberg is also chairman of United Way Worldwide’s board of trustees and chair emeritus of the YMCA of Greater New York.

Past speakers at the business school’s graduation ceremony include senior vice president at RBC Wealth Management Steve Ross, founder and chief executive officer of Rand Construction Corporation Linda Rabbitt and Goldman Sachs managing director Lou Rosenfeld.

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