Something inspirational about the College of Business, and about higher education, is that we are all choosing to be here. We choose higher education because we are passionate about serving others and teaching students to do the same.
Welcome. I am so glad to see all of you here tonight to celebrate the work you have done – and done so well – throughout this past academic year.
I feel honored to be among so many dedicated people in this room.
Something inspirational about the College of Business, and about higher education, is that we are all choosing to be here.
As faculty, staff and administrators, we believe that value and meaning come from helping generations of students succeed and make a difference in their jobs and communities.
We choose higher education because we are passionate about serving others and teaching students to do the same.
We work hard, because we know success in higher education is measured beyond our individual achievements.
And every one of you here is essential to our success.
Collectively, you help us fulfill our mission of elevating business education; research; and the student experience, and you are all essential to creating an inclusive culture and furthering our reputation in Oregon and beyond.
In the College of Business, we do all of this together.
In two weeks, more than 1,000 graduate and undergraduate students will receive degrees from the College of Business.
All of you have helped them do it.
Think about their journey, from even before they first arrive on campus to now.
Our recruitment team hosts hundreds of tours and meetings to help encourage new students to choose the College of Business at Oregon State. This year, we welcomed our largest incoming cohort of students to date.
We welcome undergraduates to Oregon State with a START program that is carefully iterated and curated by our advising and student engagement teams. Right away students know they belong and that they will be supported throughout their time here.
Students know that a growing advising team will be ready to help guide them through their College of Business experience, and that our student engagement team will offer the mentoring, curriculum, experiences and services they need to make the most of their education.
Our Blueprint, InnovationX, and Innovation Nation programs give our undergraduate and graduate students opportunities that will be the foundation for future successes.
Thanks to the hard work of our advancement and student engagement teams, more than 3,000 students checked into our in person and virtual Career Fairs this academic year.
In all, 105 employers participated in Career Fairs over the course of the year, with 28 employers on the waiting list.
Employers know that when they hire College of Business graduates, their new employees will make an immediate contribution to their organizations. Our teams – advising, career success, student engagement – work tirelessly for our students, but also for our reputation.
Likewise, graduate and undergraduate students were able to participate in 12 faculty-led experiential learning projects alongside our Centers of Excellence and our industry partners.
These projects spanned industry sectors and involved partners from renowned brands like adidas and Daimler. They allowed students to tackle difficult problems, identify opportunities and create meaningful business solutions for our industry partners.
And this again, relies on the reputation of our faculty, the leads of our centers and our industry relations team working in concert to create these opportunities.
This reputation is just one reason why more than 800 people have volunteered in service of the college through advisory council memberships, speaking in a class, serving on a panel or supporting students during an event.
We are grateful for this engagement and inspired by it. Our alumni, friends and community know the value of giving their time and talents to students.
We are also dedicated to supporting our College of Business students throughout their studies at Oregon State.
This academic year, we were able to give out more than $1 million in scholarship money, of which more than $100,000 was given in emergency scholarships.
Our total amount of gifts and pledges to the College of Business this year is $6.5 million from more than 700 donors.
Much of this will go toward scholarships, supporting programs that help students excel and fully participate in life at Oregon State, and ensuring that faculty have the resources they need to make an impact in the classroom and in their research.
Our faculty are modeling excellence for their students in the classroom as they are continuing to expand our research enterprise and reputation.
This year, faculty published more than 20 impactful papers, six of which appeared in Tier 1 journals.
Six faculty serve in editorial roles at key journals in their fields, while five are serving or will serve in executive level roles within their professional organizations.
Faculty thought leadership has featured on national and international platforms such as National Public Radio and Harvard Business Review, and regionally on outlets including KLCC and KGW.
The college’s new Thought Leadership Series, launched in partnership with the Advancement team, highlights the relevance of faculty research to an alumni audience, the business community and donors.
Our collaborations with the university’s Global Hemp Innovation Center are ongoing and feature several of our Centers, including the Center for Marketing and Consumer Insights and the Center for Supply Chain Management.
Also included in the collaboration is the Center for Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Business, who created three USDA-funded cultural competency trainings for researchers on Native American tribal partnerships this year.
The center was also awarded a second USDA grant with the Hemp Innovation Center to create additional trainings as part of a new climate smart agriculture project.
I look forward to welcoming four new tenure track faculty members to the college this September, as well.
Our College of Business faculty as well as our trusted consulting partners, also work to ensure that lifelong learners have access to an Oregon State business education.
Our Continuing and Professional Education program supports 15 certificate programs, 70 courses and 2,022 active students. More than 6,000 continuing and professional education students have finished courses since 2015.
When I talk about success in the College of Business, these examples are just the tip of the iceberg.
There is so much to celebrate, and so many people to celebrate.
I particularly want to call out teams who work behind the scenes, like our new Events team, who oversaw 120 events this year, including this one, for stakeholders across the college and alumni across the country.
Our Marketing team, in addition to winning national awards, is turned to for their expertise by colleges and centers across campus.
Our Facilities team supported more than 270 guest speakers and visitors who came to College of Business classes and club meetings. And our IT team has made sure that the technology we need to run our classrooms, our events and our projects is working well.
Making an organization like the College of Business successful is an all hands on deck effort, all the time.
I am grateful to be here, celebrating that effort with all of you.
Thank you for what you do.