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May 29, 2008

Thoughts After Graduation

John Gannon '08
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At the business school recognition ceremony, over 600 of my fellow MBAs and I assembled to hear some speeches, spend time with our families who have stuck by us through the process and enjoy a few final hours together as a class.

The ceremony was put together well, and more important, was held underneath tents, so that we weren’t drenched by the monsoon going through New York City at the time. :) Dean Hubbard gave some opening words and then introduced Jerry Speyer ’64, of the real estate powerhouse Tishman Speyer. Jerry shared with the audience a great story about his old Columbia College friend who had lost his eyesight during their time at school and went on to do incredible things.

Venk Varadan ’08, fellow J-termer and executive vice president of the GBA, gave the student speech about his trip to Kilimanjaro, where he met a CBS alum 30-plus years his senior who was also making the trek in terrible conditions. In fact, the alum was a member of Columbia Business School’s class of 1969, the one dubbed “The Whiz Kids” by Forbes, which graduated heavy hitters like Henry Kravis, Erskine Bowles and Lew Frankfort. What are the chances that this sort of chance encounter would occur? I have no idea (stats wasn’t my best subject) but it’s gotta be small. :)

My thoughts on the day? It went fast, and still hasn’t hit me yet. And who knows what the future will bring — other than that I’ll soon be the father of two beautiful baby girls!