Graduates Recognized During December 18 Convocation

Published on December 22, 2015

Grads Encouraged to Face Challenges Head On

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Elizabeth Killinger (BBA ’91) addresses Bauer College Fall 2015 graduation candidates during the Dec. 18 convocation ceremony. Killinger is the president of NRG Retail and Reliant. See more photos at whereawesomehappens.com.

The C. T. Bauer College of Business celebrated nearly 1,000 graduating students during a convocation ceremony on Dec. 18 on the University of Houston campus.

Graduating students had the opportunity to hear from Bauer College Dean Latha Ramchand, as she welcomed students to the ceremony.

“Today, you graduate from a very special college and university,” Ramchand said. “A college that has transformed you and that you have transformed during your stay here.”

Ramchand continued, acknowledging the impactful gift given by Charles T. “Ted” Bauer. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the $40 million naming gift.

“Over the last 15 years we have seen remarkable growth in the quality of the learning environment that our faculty and staff create, and we owe a great deal to Mr. Bauer for his commitment to building our college into a leading global business school,” Ramchand added.

Ramchand encouraged students before they crossed the stage to dream big for their future.

“With your degree from Bauer, you have everything you need, and more, to succeed beyond your wildest dreams,” she said. “You have the ability to change the world.”

During the ceremony, three graduate students were recognized as the top in their respective classes, and were also part of the platform party. Additionally, there were four undergraduate students who were recognized for achieving a cumulative 4.0 GPA during their academic careers.

Bauer alumna and guest speaker NRG Retail and Reliant President Elizabeth Killinger (BBA ’91) shared her personal story and her road to success with the graduates.

“Bauer shaped who I am and how I lead and that’s why I love staying involved,” Killinger said. “Bauer develops people to get things done. That is what ties us together.”

Killinger, who serves on the Bauer College Board and on the Working Families Initiative, a new Bauer initiative that aims to provide resources, support and access for women and men in business school, shared with the students the important lessons in life that have put her where she is today.

“Stay open to new opportunities because an unexpected detour can be better than your planned destination,” she added. “Don’t worry about how plans change, instead, seize every opportunity.”

Killinger challenged students to always face a challenge, and not be afraid to lead.

“In your career, people will ask if you will serve. Don’t hesitate to take a challenge if you don’t feel ready,” she added. “The opportunity will make you ready.”

Killinger closed with a final piece of advice for students, keep an open mind.

“We’re only here for a season,” Killinger said. “Put your fingerprints on that season and be open to changes along the way.”

By Amanda Sebesta