As the newest graduates of the Fox School of Business and School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) filed into Temple University’s Liacouras Center on Feb. 1, shouts of encouragement and congratulations from family and friends rang out. Over 500 graduates from across the two schools were conferred at the winter graduation this year.
The event represented both a turn of the page and a celebration of collective accomplishments for the school. Interim Dean Ronald Anderson delivered his first commencement address, discussing his experience and commitment to leading the school based on five guiding principles: quality outcomes, innovation, lasting impact, inspiring culture and integrity.
“We have held you to the highest standards of integrity,” the Dean says, addressing the graduates. “We have exposed you to ever-evolving programs. Incorporated more and more technology. And we have created an inspiring culture.”
After Dean Anderson finished his remarks, he introduced the keynote speaker for the graduation, owner and CEO of MMCO Auto, Jerry Miller, DBA ’17. Miller has been in the automotive industry for over 37 years, and is an expert in market development, sales training, product development, automotive consulting and managerial training. He has served on the advisory board of Audi of America for seven years and acted as Chairman for two. He is also involved with Hopeworks ‘N Camden and Habitat for Humanity, and his humanitarian work stretched to projects in Malawi, Romania, Honduras and Guatemala.
During his speech, Miller spoke about the complexity of success. He told students to think big, and to not be intimidated by failure. He used his careers ups and downs as an example that the thin line between success and failure is simply doing something right one last time.
“The journey of success has no clear finish line. It can be exhausting and lonely,” Miller says. “But it’s worth it.”
The student speaker for the winter graduation was Katherine Elizabeth Isbel. Kate is a marketing professional in the Philadelphia area with a passion for the tourism and hospitality industry. After she received her undergraduate degree from STHM t in 2012, Kate’s passion has supported her in various roles within the industry, including marketing jobs at the Philadelphia Convention Visitors Bureau and The Logan Hotel, and her present position at the Digital Communications Manager for Visit Bucks County.
Isbel spoke about the importance of finding support systems in family, friends and community. She advised that graduates take time after celebrating graduation to get to know themselves a bit better in order to discover passions and career paths.
“There is no right path as long as you are constantly choosing to improve,” Isbel says.