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Poole College Recognizes December Graduates

Poole College December 2017 Graduates
Poole College December 2017 Graduates

More than 430 students celebrated their graduation from the NC State Poole College of Management this weekend. Included were seven receiving doctoral degrees in economics; 134 receiving master’s degrees in accounting, business management, global innovation management and global luxury management; and 292 receiving bachelor’s degrees in accounting, business management and economics.

Two of those receiving bachelor’s degrees were the college’s first to complete the International Business Dual Degree (IBDD) program that includes two years of study at NC State Poole College, and two years at one of the college’s international business school partners for this program.

Kayla Hilton completed the last two years of her bachelor’s in business administration degree requirements at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC) in Piacenza, Italy. Sydney Swain, who was the college’s first student to enter the dual degree program, completed her studies at NEOMA Business School in Reims, France. Read more about their IBDD experiences.

Annette L. Ranft, Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. chair and dean of the college, led the college’s commencement ceremony at PNC Arena Saturday, immediately following the university-wide ceremony held earlier that morning at the same venue.

Noting that many of the college’s graduates were welcomed into the NC State University alumni community at the morning ceremony, she said, “We now come together as a college community to recognize each of you individually. There’s always something special about welcoming you to the stage and extending a congratulatory handshake as you officially become an NC State and Poole College of Management alumn.” Each graduate also received a Poole College lapel pin when leaving the stage.

“You graduate from Poole College today, armed with a world-class education, critical analysis skills and a creative, entrepreneurial approach to addressing business problems,” Ranft said. “I truly believe that through you, we can achieve the extraordinary.”

Board of Advisors Outstanding Student Award

At each Poole College commencement ceremony, one undergraduate student is recognized with the Poole College of Management Board of Advisors Outstanding Student Award. Students are nominated for this recognition by members of the faculty, and the recipient is selected by a committee comprised of members of the Board of Advisors. Criteria for the award include demonstrated leadership and engagement, and participation in personal and professional growth experiences while at NC State.

This year, 17 students were nominated and seven were selected as finalists: Cortney Anne Cox, Philip Thomas Graham, Caroline Elizabeth Harrison, Coley Anne Lyon, Robert McCarty, Caitlin Ann Raube, and Lea Putnam Rutter.

Lea Putnam Rutter, recipient, Poole College's Board of Advisors Outstanding Student Award
Lea Putnam Rutter, recipient, Poole College’s Board of Advisors Outstanding Student Award

Rutter was selected to receive the December 2017 award. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and human resources management concentration. She also completed a minor in international studies and studied in Peru in the summer of 2017.

Rutter was inducted into the Tau Sigma Honor Society at NC State and had previously received the Dr. T. Ray Ruffin Scholarship. In addition to her academic accomplishments, she has been involved in a number of leadership roles across campus, notably serving in several leadership positions of the NC State chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management.

She also dedicates time to campus organizations like the Climate Reality Project Campus Corps and Peru E-D-U in, addition to her work in the local community with the House of Hope and Habitat for Humanity. Rutter also is a decorated veteran of the U.S. Air Force, having received the Air Force Good Conduct Medal and  the National Defense Service Medal.

Student Commencement Address

The college ceremony also includes a student commencement address, which this year was delivered by Ada Evbuomwan, from Raleigh, N.C.

Ada Evbuomwan, December 2017 student commencement speaker
Ada Evbuomwan, December 2017 student commencement speaker

She graduated, at age 19, cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in business administration, a concentration in information technology and honors in business analytics. As a Poole College student, she held leadership roles in a number of student organizations, including president of the Black Business Students Association. She also was a member of the African Student Union, served as a resident advisor with University Housing, an orientation leader with New Student Programs, a multicultural student symposium counselor and peer mentor with Multicultural Student Affairs, and a mentor with the Poole College Student Network Group. She also has volunteered with organizations including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She completed an internship with Credit Suisse and will be joining EY’s Technology Advisor Program. An abstract of her remarks follows.

“Standing up here and looking down at everyone’s joyous faces brings me to the realization that graduating from the illustrious Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University is not an individual journey. We have more achievers worthy of celebration present today than the beautiful people in the red caps and gowns. This is a big day for those who supported us along the way. Whether financially or emotionally, this is your day as well.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be in a position to usher my peers into a new era in our adulthood: post undergraduate life. Who would have thought a 5 foot 6 (5 foot 10 in heels), 107 pounds on a good day, Nigerian immigrant would be standing on this podium addressing a pack of wolves? I certainly did not, but I am thankful for the opportunity. This moment is one we will always remember as the catalyst to our official lives. These past few years have simply been a launching pad for the years to come.”

She credits the Poole College Peer Leaders with providing a friendly welcome when she arrived as a first-year student. “Of all the resources that were presented in my first year, the Peer Leaders made a big difference in my transition to Poole,” she said.

Evbuomwan also highlighted a few iconic NC State experiences: the annual Krispy Kreme Challenge, tailgating and rushing the Bell Tower after a win, completing and turning in assignments while seated in Port City Java’s Nelson Hall site.

She cites these and other collegiate experiences as part of what she called ‘adulting,’ a term defined as “the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.” That term, she said, is reflective of the millennial generation. “We are a youthful generation … we chanted YOLO (you only live once); we live by the moments, not the minutes. This is why we have to … differentiate the stages in our adulthood. These past few years have strengthened our resolve and prepared us for the journey ahead.

“Now we have completed the prerequisite course to true adulthood. … The skills we lack will be formed as we maneuver through life. … What’s next? The possibilities are endless with a degree from the Poole College of Management. With unlimited possibilities comes a great responsibility to continue the Wolfpack motto. We must continue to think and do … It means to be intentional, purposeful and thoughtful … to realize the impact of our actions and act accordingly.

“I am honored and proud to be graduating alongside you all, from the best university known to man .. and wolf. Congratulations, Class of 2017! GO PACK.