The Richmond MBA is proud to announce the graduation of 33 students this year! On May 6, students, faculty, staff, family, and friends came together to celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2017.

“Graduation was fun and festive this year,” said Debbie Fisher, associate director of The Richmond MBA. “Everything fell into place.”

The group gathered in the Ukrop Auditorium, with multiple speakers to welcome friends and family, including Dhruv Sehti, GB’17.

“I was excited and honored,” Sethi said. “It was a privilege to address the graduating class, family, and friends on behalf of the student body. Seeing the excitement in my classmates’ eyes all contributed to making those minutes incredibly special to me.”

Sethi devoted his time to discussing the boundless potential of each and every classmate of The Richmond MBA.

“I’ve met such amazing people that I know will do great things,” Sethi said. “Being a student in The Richmond MBA meant more than being in a classroom together. It meant sharing memories on an international trip to Italy, personal anecdotes, and experiences at organizations all culminating in an experience like no other.”

Sethi’s remarks preceded those of the commencement speaker, Robert Reynolds, GB’98, great grandson of Richard S. Reynolds, the namesake for the MBA program.

Reynolds discussed the history of his great grandfather’s success. Richard Reynolds founded his business, the Reynolds Metals Company, in 1928, so he could work with his four sons. This came at a particularly influential time, as the U.S. had not yet begun mass production of metals for warfare. But Reynolds’ investment in multiple facilities over time helped make the U.S. one of the top producers of metal for planes and weapons. By 1955, Reynolds Metals Company became the third largest aluminum company in the world with more than 30,000 employees in more than 20 countries.

Robert Reynolds explained that his father’s ambition and determination drove him to become one of the most influential people on the U.S. economy in the 20th century, recognized by President Truman and then secretary of the air force, Stuart Symington. And he hoped the new graduates would be inspired.

“If we all apply some of my great grandfather’s principles, we can help people and live rewarding lives,” Reynolds said. “Small acts of kindness, like being there when people need your support, can have significant impacts on people.”

He also shared important qualities to maximize potential: attitude, perseverance, humility, focus, time management, and moderation. 

And Sethi believes the MBA Class of 2017 exemplifies those qualities.

“The treasure of this program is the sense of community it provides. Faculty and students embody it, and that left a lasting impression on me,” Sethi said. “I feel strongly about the contribution that my graduating class will make, and the legacy they will impart for the Robins School.”