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By Madeline Parmenterand Miriam Weinstein ’08 M.B.A.
In the 1967 film, “The Graduate,” an elder gentleman leans into the ear of Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, and says, “I just want to say one word to you … plastics.” That was advice to the baby-boomer generation. At this year’s Providence Campus undergraduate ceremony, the advice to the NetGen was decidedly different.“The community you move on to from here will provide all kinds of civic and political opportunities to become involved and be an influence. By participating, you also will experience personal growth while making a contribution,” guest speaker Robert H. Castellini ’09 Hon. told graduates at morning ceremonies for The Hospitality College and College of Culinary Arts. The chairman of Castellini Management Co., and CEO and owner of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Business Administration in Hospitality Management. “You have been given the tools to go forward. I have no doubt that with hard work, high standards and good values, you will succeed far beyond your expectations today,” Castellini said. Justine Allison Sacks ’09, student speaker, noted that “the backbone to all of our majors is having the spirit to serve.” The hospitality management graduate exemplified a trait specific to her “Net Generation” when she shared her optimism for the future. “There are endless directions one can take in our line of work, but no matter what that path may be, change is the norm. As future leaders … we are able to face change and transform it into something fabulous.” Dana Gaebe, J.D., ’09 Hon., member of the JWU Board of Trustees and oldest son of Chancellor Emeritus Morris Gaebe ’98 Hon., was the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Business Administration, and commencement speaker for the afternoon ceremonies for the College of Business and School of Technology.“It’s not how high you start on the totem pole; it’s getting on the totem pole in the first place that counts,” he said recounting the wisdom of friend, Christopher Bodine ’09 Hon. Students shouldn’t be afraid to take a job where they might be underemployed as long as it is in their chosen career path, he advised. It would offer valuable experience in the long run, and might be the first step towards a place on “the pole.”While this group of graduates may be one of the most community-minded generations ever, they also have the dubious distinction of being the first to go out into a job market with double-digit unemployment rates. Student speaker Evan Lemoine ’09 told classmates that many see the economy as a disaster, but true business leaders see it as a challenge. Recalling university history, he reminded them of two such visionaries — Morris Gaebe and Edward Triangolo ’80 Hon. — who turned a unique opportunity into resounding success with the purchase from founders Gertrude Johnson and Mary Wales of a small business school in 1947. “They saw the possibilities and potential of Johnson & Wales and took a chance.”He urged them to match the times and learn from their example. “We will make mistakes and there will be speed bumps that will affect our path to success. How we handle these challenges is critical and can make or break our careers.”Providence Campus 95th Undergraduate Commencement,Dunkin’ Donuts CenterCollege of Business and School of TechnologyHonorary Degree RecipientsDoctor of Business Administration (Commencement Speaker)Dana H. Gaebe, J.D., senior partner, Gaebe & Kezirian, Providence, R.I.Doctor of Business AdministrationChristopher W. Bodine, retired president, CVS Caremark Health Services, Woonsocket, R.I.College of Culinary Arts and the Hospitality College Honorary Degree RecipientsDoctor of Business Administration inHospitality Management (Commencement Speaker)Robert H. Castellini, chairman, Castellini Management Co., Cincinnati, OhioDoctor of Culinary ArtsLeah Chase, owner/proprietor, Dooky Chase Restaurant, New Orleans, La.Total Degrees Awarded 2,953College of Business 1,066College of Culinary Arts 726The Hospitality College 9,66School of Technology 195B.S. Degrees 2,120A.S. Degrees 833