2020 Fall Graduation Celebration
[MUSIC - MSU Fight Song] [Peter Berg] Hello everyone and welcome to our December graduation celebration for 2020. I'm Peter Berg I'm the director of the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations. I want to let you know that this event is being recorded and can be viewed on the MSU School of Human Resources and Labor Relations YouTube channel. Ii also want to encourage you to express your congratulations to the graduates through the chat function and be sure that you indicate you want to speak to both attendees and panelists in that function and congratulations to our graduates. You've done it! To be clear, this is not the graduation we all anticipated. These are indeed unusual, scary, and difficult times but we will get through it and all the work that you've done at MSU will stay with you and pay off over time.
While it is less than ideal, I'm glad we have the means to gather virtually to honor your achievements. You've done remarkable work and are about to embark on a great journey. While you've earned your degree, this is not the end. Rather it is the beginning of the next stage of your life. Now I can understand there are reasons to be pessimistic about the future,
we're in the midst of a global pandemic, the economy across the globe is suffering, and so much of our lives seem uncertain, yet there are reasons for optimism as well. The generations before you have confronted crises before and come through. Crises also put a premium on leadership. Organizations need people who can think clearly, act calmly, express understanding and compassion, and solve problems. So take the lessons you've learned during your studies here,
perseverance, integrity, compassion, and make them part of your life going forward. As you go out into the world, make a difference and work for good. The world needs you now more than ever. We have several speakers with us today, Terry Curry, I'd like to introduce first. Terry, after many years in the faculty of the School has served as Director, he served as Director of this School from 1999 to 2007, during which time he created the School's Advisory Board, he then served as Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Human Resources from 2007 through 2020 and is now serving as a consultant to Provost Theresa Woodruff. We're very happy to have Terry with us today to continue the tradition of him speaking to our graduates. So Terry we look forward to your remarks. [Terry Curry] Thank you Peter and let me be the maybe the second of many who will say congratulations to the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations class of 2020. I say that personally and I also say that on behalf of Provost Teresa [Woodruff]
and also let me say congratulations and and thank you to the families and friends of all of the graduates. We know this is a a shared sacrifice and your role in the success of each of these graduates is of course absolutely essential to their getting to to where they are and in not too many hours you all are going to have your degrees conferred, I remember once some years ago I was at a commencement and president said something that that always stuck with me. She said that graduating from University is like entering into a marriage but a marriage without the possibility of divorce. That until you graduate, either party could decide we're gonna we're gonna end this, that you don't want to be a part of Michigan State or you don't want to get a degree from the School or the University could decide that you haven't met the standards and we're not going to award you a degree but once the degree gets conferred, in not too many hours, the reputations and there's an inextricable linkage between you and the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations at Michigan State University and that means among other things that our reputations are are forever connected and so the value of your degree will grow as the School's outstanding faculty continue to do what they do and producing great graduates and engaging in first-class research, your reputation, the value of your degree, will continue to grow as the graduates of the program, those that have preceded you, continue to go out and do absolutely extraordinary things, like they have been doing. And similarly, to the extent you can help the school's reputation, to the extent the school's reputation is stronger then the value of your degree is viewed as a stronger degree. So that means we've got to help each other in that process. I was talking to a former student of mine
yesterday, and I say that only to say that those faculty that have worked with you throughout your academic career and particularly your academic career within the School, they will still be there and they are still accessible and i know there's a rich tradition within the School of faculty continuing to answer questions and provide resources for graduates of the school as they have left and similarly there's a rich tradition of the graduates of the school giving back to the school. I know even though this has been an absolutely crazy semester, nothing like crazy two semesters now, nothing like any of us anticipated. I know you have had now virtually, graduates of the program that have spoken in your class, and with graduates who have created or helped to produce internship opportunities and opportunities for full-time employment in their companies, who have worked through their companies to provide scholarship funds, who participated in alumni events. So our continuing to work to support each other
is a part of what we're gonna have to do in this marriage that we are now in and it's a in "I" "N" and it's a marriage that will not end "E" "N" "D". It is a permanent relationship. Let me uh... Let me end with with a quick story. Peter said be brief and and I'll do that and those on the faculty have heard me say this uh tell this story many times before, but I, but I think it fits.
The story is about a very wealthy Hollywood producer. Very wealthy, huge estate, uh Rolls-Royce, giant swimming pool, all the stuff that you can imagine that a rich Hollywood producer would have and producer regularly has these big dinner parties and before the dinner party there's always a cocktail hour. Cocktail hour is always out around the pool and during the cocktail hour he has a standing offer that he makes to his guests. Standing offer is this. He says anybody who will jump into the pool and swim the length of the pool, he says you can have any of the things I have. You can have a studio, you can have the estate, you can have the Rolls-Royce, and any other things I own. You just have to jump into the swimming pool, swim the length of the swimming pool. You're probably thinking what's the big deal, I can swim the length of the Olympic
size swimming pool. Well the big deal is that the swimming pool is stocked with sharks and alligators. Okay so not a lawyer joke, but it's stocked with sharks and alligators. So he makes this offer, dinner party, after dinner party, nobody ever takes him up on the offer. Well they're having a dinner party one evening and they're in the cocktail hour, he makes a standing offer, pauses for a few seconds to see if anyone will take him up on the offer. Nobody does, producer says all right let's adjourn, go in and have dinner. He turns around, they're walking back to the main house, suddenly behind him he hears a splash, looks behind him. There's a guy in the pool. The guy is ducking, darting, dodging and swimming,
but he makes it through the sharks, makes through the alligators, he gets to the other side and they help him out of the pool, bring him towels, producer comes over and he says, you know I'm shocked! I've been making this offer for years. Dinner party after dinner party, nobody has ever taken me up on the offer but he says I'm a man of my word. I said you could have any other things I own. Studio, the estate, the Rolls-Royce, so what is it, what is
it that I can provide? The guy says look, I just want one thing, I want to know who the heck pushed me in! Right, I say that to say to you, they're going to be instances in the next few years, as you enter into your career, as you are in grad school, when you're going to feel like you were pushed in. There's this assignment that you were given that you feel somehow that you're not ready for but I want you to step back for a second and reflect on the fact that you have been trained and prepared by the best. You have been trained and prepared by the Berg's, and the Belman's and the Kaminsky's, the the Hall's, and the Tapia's, and the Beck's, and the Roehling's, and the Dulebohn's and the list goes on. You are ready. Congratulations to the Class of 2020. [Peter Berg] Thank you very much Terry. I appreciate your words. I'd like to now introduce our keynote speaker for today, a great friend of the School, Ed Loya. Ed serves as the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Dell's Corporate Services Functions. In his role, he's responsible for the daily management
of global HR programs and processes, and is also the executive sponsor for Latino Connection, a Dell employee resource group aimed at supporting the recruitment and retention of latinos at Dell. And Ed is regarded as a leader on this topic of diversity within the company. Ed is also a very treasured member of our School's Advisory Board. So Ed, I turn the microphone over to you.
[Ed Loya] Thank you Dr. Berg. Thank you faculty, administration staff, graduates, and guests. I appreciate the time today and I'm honored that I was asked to spend some time and share a few words with you among amongst this momentous occasion. So it's hard to believe that I've been working in human resources since before most of you graduates, if not all of you were born.
You know you can't tell but I've got a few decades under my belt here so you know and in this time in the field, which has been for me, so richly rewarding, people consistently and universally know and recognize the name Michigan State University, School of Human Resources and Labor Relations. MSU is known by people who sit where I sit because we've seen and experienced the top flight training, coaching, and teaching that goes on here and also the top flight students who have been accepted and gone through this rigorous process. People know the expertise that they're getting when they hire somebody from Michigan State University and more importantly they know what it took to get there and they know what it took for you to get through here and also we understand and we acknowledge the fact that you're bringing incredible knowledge and know-how to the university or to the organizations that you'll partner with throughout your career. As Peter said, my relationship with Michigan State actually goes back about a decade when I was asked, and granted the honor, to serve on the Advisory Board and what struck me from the start of the relationship with Michigan State was this intense desire that students have here. Including in that, many schools, particularly in graduate programs, have a singular and soul focus around scholarship, publishing thought leadership papers and the like, well I don't discount that because they are incredibly important, what i've been completely drawn in by is the focus and the dedication of my peer partners at the School. This is a hands-on, one-on-one attention
or this hands-on one-on-one attention which makes students here more successful, extremely successful. I've seen this time and time again as instructors and faculty have gone out of their way to ensure each and every student has what they need to thrive, but also build relationships and establish mentorships that will help you be successful not just in your careers but in life. And now you're part of a lifelong network of fellow graduates of a school that is recognized as one of the top programs in the nation for human resources. This network will serve you extremely well, as you work with
hire, encourage, manage, and recommend to the many others who have come before you and who will follow you. The School aims to find meaningful internships and careers and we trust that the student-focused culture that is in the HRLR program has been rewarding to each and every one of you. Your accomplishments that we acknowledge here today have been remarkable not just because of the rigorous course load that you carry, but the fact that you've been balancing your classwork with the worries and precautions of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and many of you included have balanced work as well. I am truly in awe of the drive your accomplishments and your determination that you've exhibited throughout the time that you've had at school. This was done much of it on your own initiative and done remotely as we're doing here today and I would say that we would want so much to be in-person here today to truly acknowledge and celebrate the turning of this chapter in your life but this is another area where we have all needed to adjust. There's one thing that I've learned about ourselves this year
is that we are uniquely capable of adjusting. I'm positive this is not how you envisioned or hoped the final semesters of school to go, but you have found and will continue to find that we must be nimble with our expectations. It was a great philosopher, John Lennon, that told us life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans. Think about that. When I graduated from university in 1987, I had no idea what awaited me. I doubt that I thought that I would spend, and I know
for a fact, I didn't think that i would spend the next 30 years at a company like Dell Technologies, for which I have been greatly blessed. And I guarantee when I started working with Michigan State and the School doing some recruitment and hosting information sessions, had no expectation that I would eventually be here, with a great honor of addressing you, on such a momentous day. Over the years, I've been granted opportunities to help with a variety of events for the School, offer opinion to better the program, and I'm proud to see that over the years that my relationship with the School and the University has developed and deepened. I'd like to think that I in some way have strengthened the program that I holy respect. Along with my fellow Advisory Board members, we have continued to help to enhance the School, hosting numerous Society of Human Resources events, presenting and hosting in-class events, enabling program through some technology upgrades, and providing financial assistance. Contributions to support the programs and student scholarship. Additionally, which I found most rewarding for me and my fellow advisory board members is the ability to be a reliable sounding board to the faculty, administration, and staff as we continue to partner, consult with the with the School around enhancing both the undergraduate and the graduate programs. Even though I am not an alumni of Michigan State University or a graduate of
the HRLR program, the pride I have in this School, it cannot be more special to me and I look forward to continuing my relationship with the University along with my fellow Advisory Board members. With your Michigan State experience, you now enter a workplace at a time like no other. You will be on the front lines of wholesale shifts that that have the task of not only entering the job market in a virtual world, but quickly pivoting towards helping others navigate the same virtual channels that we're all in today. Again, this is probably not what you signed up for when you started this program but we must be wary about what happens when we are busy making other plans. The challenge you
will face will be many but they'll also be exhilarating. Even before the pandemic, workplaces were changing faster than any time since the industrial revolution. New technology has left many working faster, though in their own silos. And as a result,
the workplace culture that revolves around the old water cooler is increasingly a thing of the past. But this has also created new challenges and puzzles that we will need to solve. Looking at ways to maximize productivity by keeping workers engaged, team members focused, and enjoying rewarding careers will be part of your future. You'll be asked or tasked
with asking the questions and trying to answer many of these questions. How do we fully engage a remote workplace? How do we increase support for our diversity and inclusion initiatives around the world? And going forward, how will all this change with the advent of new technologies on the horizon, shape the future of work? Here's where your creativity, your toughness, your grit, and the lessons you have learned at Michigan State and what you've learned since 2020 will help us. Being nimble, quick, decisive, will serve you well. This past year has not been easy, though the work that we do in human resources will be critical in the years to come. While we hope never to see a pandemic like this again, all of our work and efforts will help us prepare for the next disruption. We don't know what those next challenges will be but we we will be prepared. Your Michigan State University, Human Resources and Labor Relations education and training
will serve you extremely well in this endeavor. As I conclude, you know I'll note that anytime that I've come to campus, I heard a lot about Spartan Will and my observations over the decade have been Spartan Will shows who are the people who will tackle the most difficult problems, will lead to the challenges, and will make the world a better place, in large and in small ways. If this past year has shown us anything, it is that we need more Spartan Will here and now. So I look forward to seeing you continue to spread Spartan Will as you turn the next chapter in your life and congratulations to the Class of 2020. Peter. [Peter Berg] Thank you so much Ed. Thank you for those insightful remarks and thank you so much to for your support of the School and we very very much appreciate your counsel and support. So next, we'd like to do a very short video to celebrate the class with some messages from various people. [VIDEO] Is this a test oh no.
[Darryl Robinson] Hi, I'm Darryl Robinson, Chief Human Resources Officer with CommonSpirit Health in San Francisco. I want to take a moment to congratulate my fellow Spartans on the completion of the master's level program at Michigan State University. I also want you to know that the world is waiting for you , they're waiting for your expertise, they're waiting for your commitment, they're waiting for your passion and your talent. So always remember, be proud, be successful, and forever go green. [Lydia Humphreys] Sending a big congratulations to the class of 2020 from the 2019 Human Capital alumni. It's a great big world out there and you're definitely ready to experience it,
wishing you the best! [Mevan Jayasinghe] Congratulations! We're very proud of your accomplishments and want to wish you every success as you lead us to a better world of work. Good luck! [Kelly Snow] Congratulations Michigan State graduates! I'm sure this is not how you expected to spend your graduation but you should be no less proud of yourselves. You really have made a great decision to invest in yourself, going through the HRLR program, and I know you're going to do fantastic things with what you've chosen to do in the field of human resources, so congratulations and I hope you can celebrate just as soon as we can get out there and celebrate together. Great job!
[Matt Hahnenberg] Congratulations graduates of the Human Capital and Society major you did it and you even survived all the emails that i sent to you i wish you the very best and don't become a stranger. [Stacy Hickox] Oh the places you'll go, there's fun to be done, there are points to be scored, there are games to be won. The magical things you can do with that ball, will make you the winningest, winner of all.
Your brains in your head, your feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose. Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you. When things start to happen, don't worry, don't stew. Just go right along, you'll start happening too. Congratulations, today is your day, you're off to great places, you're off and away. [Matt Cambridge] Hey Masters of HRLR students, just wanted to congratulate you on your graduation I can only imagine it would be really tough not to have a physical graduation but just know that you've accomplished something really great and there are a lot of really exciting opportunities ahead, so congrats! [Angela Hall] Hello this is Angela Hall, Associate Professor and Associate Director for Graduate Programs and this is my daughter Sierra, a future Spartan, we want to wish all the graduates a big congratulations. We know that times are tough now but remember you are Spartan Strong! And always remember to Go Green! and Go White! [Brooke Yost] Hi, this is Brooke Yost from Whirlpool. Congratulations to the 2020 graduates
and a special shout out to the Master students of the HRLR program remember to stay connected to Spartans worldwide and give back to the Spartan family. Go Green! [Thuy-Tram Butler] Congratulations class of 2020. You did it! So happy to share the story with you and all of your achievements and successes. Looking forward to hearing about your future, which I know you have many more successes. Happy to be part of your lifelong network. Go Green! [Peter Berg] Congratulations graduates! We've challenged you and you've worked hard to meet that challenge and earn your degree. Forget the global pandemic! Go out and celebrate... Well maybe not go out but
zoom with your friends and celebrate and enjoy this achievement with your friends and family. Congratulations graduates! [Peter Berg] So again congratulations graduates. I'd like to now proceed to read the names of those graduating from our Master's program and also our Bachelor's of Arts in Human Capital and Society. I'm going to read the names and honor you in silence but you should feel free to hoot and holler and do anything you want in your private spaces when your name is read. So we're going to begin with the four students who are graduating in our Masters of HR and Labor Relations today. so Charles Busse Chadia Philyaw Tenecia Ross and Chika Unaegbu Congratulations to you on your accomplishment.
I'd also now like to read the names of several Bachelors of Arts in Human Capital and Society students. Arin Bell Steve Chan Julianne Cipres Drekia Cook Quinn Costello Alex Dickmann Michael Dunlap Nate Ellis Joshua Gertley Madelyn Harville Olivia Judsen Nhu Le Sam Lee Josi Leger Moreno Anthony Lipari Ross Martindale Nateah Mclemore Tyler Nelson Abigail Rothe Sydney Sanders Connor Silvestri Jack Tenbusch Hannah Thomas Sara Vaughn and Huimin Ye Congratulations to all those in the Human Capital and Society major as well. That concludes our program for today, I'd like to offer congratulations to everyone. Thank you for participating, for completing the degree, and joining us in this celebration. So thank you and we wish you all the best. [MUSIC - MSU Fight Song fades out]