Annual Event Recognizes First Ph.D. Cohort, Abitus Students from Japan

Hooding ceremony guests pose for photos Image by Ed Brennen
Hooding Ceremony guests pose for photos at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center.

By Ed Brennen

The Manning School of Business recognized nearly 100 graduate students receiving advanced degrees during its annual Hooding Ceremony, held at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center.

Manning School Dean Sandy Richtermeyer commended all 84 master’s program students in attendance at the ceremony, which included 69 MBA students, three master’s of science in finance (MSF) students, five master’s of science in accounting (MSA) students, and seven master’s of science in entrepreneurship (MSE) students.

“Graduate school is a huge investment in yourself,” said Richtermeyer, who was attending her first Hooding Ceremony as dean. “It changes the way you think and look at problems.”

She also congratulated the six members of the Ph.D. program’s first graduating class and the half-dozen Japanese students who completed their MBA degrees online through the university’s partnership with Tokyo executive education firm Abitus.

Jeffrey Mead speaks during the hooding ceremony Image by Ed Brennen
Adjunct Prof. Jeffrey Mead ’78, a partner with the accounting firm Alexander Aronson Finning CPAs, shares advice with Manning School graduate students.

Three students received the Gary Mucica Outstanding MBA Student Award, given to those with a perfect 4.0 GPA: Frank Stegnar, Richard Rollka and Steve Athanas, director of platforms and systems engineering for the Information Technology department.

Director of Graduate Programs Leticia Porter also helped present outstanding student awards to Diana Melson (MSF), Daniel Quigley (MSE), Bridge McSherry (MSA) and Lisa Doi (MBA Abitus).

The ceremony featured a keynote address from alum Jeffrey Mead ’78, a partner with the accounting firm Alexander Aronson Finning CPAs and an adjunct professor in the Accounting Department.

“I don’t think we should underestimate the determination and focus necessary to complete a graduate degree program,” said Mead, who is also a member of the Manning School’s Advisory Board. “It is an accomplishment that you should cherish for the rest of your lives.”