News Release

2006 Commencement Adds Up to 2000th Alumni

The UC Davis Graduate School of Management’s 24th Commencement in June marked an important milestone. Among the more than 100 graduates was the School’s 2000th alumnus.

At the June 17 ceremony, keynote speaker William Sullivan, president and CEO of Agilent Technologies (right), congratulated the new UC Davis MBAs for earning their degrees from one of the best business schools in the nation.

But Sullivan also warned the capacity audience at Freeborn Hall that “there is a crisis in business management.” Citing a recent poll that found that 70 percent of the public does not believe what managers say, Sullivan noted that “our challenge has never been greater.”

Leadership is required, he said, and at its core is integrity. He cautioned that “any action you take must be so far from grey that there is no doubt your intention.” Sullivan hastened to add that leadership is also about passion and the need to take risks.

Sullivan, a UC Davis alumnus, urged the newly minted UC Davis MBAs to remember that “business is about people working together, not spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations.”

He ended his talk by encouraging the latest generation of business leaders to be passionate about what they do and to make a difference for their companies’ customers and shareholders.

“Your graduation today is a defining moment,” he told the grads. “I have a suggestion and a request: have a lifetime of defining moments.”