The Senior Wine and Cheese Reception is an event senior business students look forward to as graduation approaches in early May. Spring semester in the Robins School of Business is rife with opportunities to celebrate and recognize accomplishments with events such as the Honors Convocation and the Senior Dinner at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. However, with the Senior Wine and Cheese Reception one day before Commencement, this event provides the unique chance for family and guests of Robins School seniors to mingle with faculty and staff and say goodbye to the school where they have spent the past four years.

Robins School faculty and staff always enjoy hearing students reflect on their time in the business school, recalling favorite classes and memorable lessons learned both inside and outside the classroom. When asked what they will miss most about the Robins School, the response was almost entirely the same; the people. “The people are what made it for me,” said Diane Brown, who will be staying in Richmond to work as a market analyst at MeadWestvaco (MWV). “Since I will still be in Richmond, I hope to give back to future Spiders the way so much was given to me.”

Jason Mathew will be moving to San Francisco, Calif., in June to work as a business development associate at Corporate Executive Board and is sad to leave behind the great relationships he’s made with his professors. “I will greatly miss all my professors who have since turned into mentors,” he said. “Many have given me their personal contact information though, so I know we will stay in touch.”

Other students echoed Mathew’s appreciativeness of their always accessible professors. “My professors are so dedicated to the success of each student. They have invited me into their home to have dinner and walked around campus talking with me. I have really gotten to know them on a personal level and know they support my success academically, professionally and personally. I hope to maintain the connections I’ve made after graduation,” said Jolmi Minaya, who will begin his career at KPMG in Boston, Mass., in June.

“I always felt a sense of community at the Robins School, always felt at home when I walked in each day and saw people I knew. I know that’s a part of what led to my success here,” said Taylor Durand, now working at M&T Bank’s management development department in Washington, D.C.

Favorite classes and most impactful and unforgettable professors were mentioned, and while each student had a reason why one course stuck with them or one professor made a lasting impression, each expressed gratitude for the Robins School as a whole. “The Robins School faculty and staff take care of all the little things that might not seem like much, but give us all the tools to succeed and get the job done,” said Tiffanie Couts, who will be going on to graduate school for sports management in the fall. “That’s what differentiates the Robins School from other business schools—the dedication to ensure our students are the best out there.”

While it is always with bittersweet emotions that faculty and staff say goodbye to another graduating class, it won’t be long until updates are anxiously received of the latest positions landed, big decision made or successes achieved.