The Raymond A. Mason School of Business is proud to have inducted 117 new graduate and undergraduate members into the academic honor society Beta Gamma Sigma for the 2021-2022 school year.
Students from the Full-Time Master of Business Administration (FTMBA), Part-Time Master of Business Administration (PTMBA), Online Master of Business Administration (OMBA), Master of Accounting (MAcc), Online Master of Science in Business Analytics (OMSBA), Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA), Online Master of Science in Marketing (OMSM), and Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) programs were recognized at two in-person ceremonies this year. It was a privilege to witness this achievement as a community.
The spring ceremony included welcome remarks delivered by Mason School Associate Dean of MBA and Executive Programs, Ken White, and Colleen Drummond, '83, who served as a KPMG Partner until her retirement. Ms. Drummond's speech focused on the honorees' achievements and thematically stressed the importance of cultivating resilience. She explained to the inductees that an individual will go into fight or flight when a shock event occurs. "Whether you want to or not, it is physiologically inexorable and comes from thousands of years of how we evolved. It is a survival mechanism that helps you react to threatening situations. So, as a leader, you will go into it and learn how to work through it quickly. If people in business stay in a fight or flight mode, it impacts results and leads to anxiety. I, therefore, task each of you with learning how to increase your resilience every day," remarked Drummond.
Ms. Drummond also spoke about meditation for mind and body and how it works to calm your sympathetic nervous system. "You should do this in non-stressful times to apply it when stress builds. It is a toolkit that will serve you well." She recognized that every individual in the room had the drive, grit, and perseverance to get to the top 20% of their class. "If you apply this same dedication to honing your leadership skills and identify your core values, you will lead a life of impact."
"What I have seen from being in the trenches is that core values are integral to leadership because there isn't always a playbook, and you don't always have time. So if you have values that are in brand with who you are, you will always have a necessary roadmap at the ready." She shared three values with the students of utmost importance: "One, courage - to face stressful situations. It is necessary to navigate ambiguity and to work through fears and vulnerabilities. Two, curiosity – you won't always know the answers, so know when you need to consult and seek insight from others." And "Three, compassion – leading with compassion is invaluable, and your people need to know you care. They will never forget how you made them feel."
Colleen concluded, "Everything changes, so get comfortable with change. Explore the unknown and pay attention to the right signals to triangulate where the future is going. And lead through change with personal resilience and principled leadership."
Three professors, Rachel Chung, Terry Shannon, and Joe Wilck, took to the podium to explain the significance behind the Greek letters Beta, Gamma, and Sigma. They were selected for this honor due to their contributions to the academic experience for students at the graduate levels in both the residential and online program modalities.
Beta is the first letter of the Greek word "bebaeos," which signifies honor; Gamma is the first letter of the Greek word "gnosis," which means wisdom; and Sigma is the first letter of the Greek word "spoude," which means earnestness. These three traits can be found in all inductees.
Beta Gamma Sigma was founded in 1907 and is comprised of a global network of over 600 chapters in 190 countries. William & Mary's chapter was founded in 1973 and has been active ever since, inducting the highest achieving students every year. Students inducted into the organization are among the most distinguished in their respective programs, consisting of the top 20% of graduate students and top 10% of undergraduate students - quite an achievement!
Professor Wilck oversaw the induction of the 24 FTMBA, 8 PTMBA, 29 OMBA, 5 MAcc, 19 MSBA, 10 OMSBA, 5 OMSM, and 17 BBA honorees. Congratulations to all students for the grit in staying the course through a long and arduous journey. This accomplishment is something to be proud of, and we recognize each of you for this incredible achievement.