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Students hear messages of encouragement during HBA Last Lecture

Apr 6, 2020

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While it may have been a bittersweet moment, the Ivey HBA Class of 2020 joined together digitally one final time to connect with faculty, gain advice and support from staff, and be welcomed into the Ivey Alumni Network.  

And the sentiment was unanimous from all speakers: It will be a priority to gather in person to celebrate with the class when it's safe to do so. Like all Ivey programs, HBA students moved to an online learning experience in mid-March when the COVID-19 pandemic made it unsafe to continue classes in the Richard Ivey Building.

The digital event, called the HBA Last Lecture Live Stream, was delivered to students in locations across Canada and around the world Monday, April 6.

Dean Sharon Hodgson expressed hope and optimism for students.

"As leaders, I believe you have the capability to push boundaries, to fearlessly approach the complex problems that are coming to us right now, and stay connected in lifelong learning," said Hodgson.

HBA Faculty Director Mary Weil encouraged students to remember their time here with fondness.

"This is a time of celebration, a time to congratulate you and to celebrate the accomplishments for your four or five years at university," she said.

Here are some of the key messages students heard during the event:

Jana Seijts, Lecturer in Communications:

"Kindness matters. As future leaders, understand kindness is not a weakness. In fact, it’s a strength. Kindness improves the quality of our workplace and of our communities. It brings people together. It deepens our connections."

Professor Gerard Seijts:

"A leader’s character is vital to his or her ability to allay fear, move people forward or facilitate a solution that will benefit all of society. Character builds trust, and trust pulls teams, organizations, communities and societies together." 

Associate Professor Ann Frost:

"Your reputation is built on the good that you do. The most successful negotiators and, I’d argue, the most successful people, care as much about other's success as they do about their own."

Dave Simpson, MBA '88, Lecturer, Entrepreneurship:

"Pressure is a privilege that you have earned. You enjoy what you do, go out and do that."

Assistant Professor Yaqi Shi:

"No storm can last forever. Remember, that tough times don't last. Tough people do."

Scott Vanderwel, HBA '98, Chair, Ivey Alumni Network Board:

"More than ever, we are going to need builders, people who can get their hands dirty and can re-write the way the future will be."