Tomorrow's global business leaders

Dean Professor Marianne Lewis addresses Cass graduands at the Barbican

Graduation is a tremendous accomplishment, and I am honoured to stand before you in this magnificent hall and cheer your achievements and your future.

You are the global leaders of tomorrow. Leaders inspire, shape, influence and create in ways big and small. And our world is in great need of your leadership – and this begins with your communities.

The power of community

So as you reflect on your graduation, I encourage you to think about the power of community.

You belong to many communities, and their strength has played and will continue to play a critical role in your success. So let us think about what strengthens your communities.

First, a great community shares core values. In this respect, I think about Cass and City, and our passion for EXCELLENCE. We want you and all members of our community to thrive. We know that the higher we hold the bar for ourselves and for each other, the higher and faster we will rise. Excellence drives us to succeed!

Your drive for excellence has pushed you to make the most of your opportunities. You have worked very hard and stayed motivated. I’m sure you made mistakes; we all do. But the key is learning along the way. And you have made some very smart decisions.

Of course, one of those decisions is that you chose the right place to learn! You chose Cass to fuel your learning with world-class and highly dedicated staff, alumni and professional mentors, and peers. I am humbled and grateful to serve such an extraordinary community.

Over the past year, both you and Cass can boast many achievements, too many for me to list today. But let me offer a few examples: earlier this month, the Financial Times ranked Cass 5th globally and 1st in London for Entrepreneurship. Last month the FT rankings table placed our MSc in Finance as the 4th in the UK and 20th in the world. Yet did you know that there are over 16,000 business schools around the globe? Your Cass community places you among the elite of the elite!

Professor Marianne Lewis with Professor Meziane Lasfer at graduation

Nurture diversity

A second key to strengthening your communities is to nurture diversity. Here is a paradox. The more we respect, nurture and care for our differences, the tighter our communities become.

At Cass, our students come from over 140 countries, and as graduates, you join an alumni network that spans 160 nations. Yet the glue holding us together is that of mutual support and care.

You all have different backgrounds and unique stories. Regardless, a key to your success has been the great fortune of support – you had people in your life who valued education, saw and cheered your potential and pushed you.

Take the time to say thank you

Take the time today to thank those who helped make your graduation possible.

Finally, focus on your responsibilities. You have much to share – your skills, passion and energy – your leadership.

Global citizenship

As a Cass alumni, you are a global citizen and valued part of our worldwide community.  You have a responsibility to empower positive change in the world, whatever path you may choose.

As you prepare to graduate, you stand in an advantageous position. Even in the 21st century, only some 7% of the world’s population has a University degree. This world needs your leadership and care, and it begins with your communities – professional, local, global, and Cass.

Communities learn and develop through their members. So let us continue to support one and other. Join us at alumni and School events in London and around the world. Last term we had masterclasses from Beijing to Sydney and shared London events virtually. These occur to provide you with ongoing opportunities to learn as we learn. And share your feedback, your achievements, and your ideas. Remember that the better we do the more valuable your degree.

With this in mind, please join the Cass Digital Community. You will receive a notecard and messages with more information. Our Digital Community will help you stay engaged with us and with each other, wherever life takes you.

You can also connect with us on social media – LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Let us keep you updated with Cass insights and achievements and help you connect with your fellow Cass alumni, wherever you are in the world.

Where will life take you? There will certainly be challenges ahead, but we have great faith in you. Hold dear to those skills, mind-sets and values that you have developed here at Cass!

I don’t want to keep you from graduating any longer. We are proud to call you alumni, and look forward to building your and Cass’ futures together.

Good luck and congratulations once again!

This is an edited extract from the Summer 2018 graduation speech by Professor Marianne Lewis, Dean, Cass Business School.