September 2008
MBA'08J Graduation Ceremonies - Singapore & Fontainebleau

Graduation ceremonies for the MBA'08J class of 461 participants representing 57 nationalities, were held on campus in Singapore on 2 July, and in Fontainebleau on 3 July 2008.

Professor Antonio Fatas, Dean of the MBA Programme, opened the ceremonies in Singapore and Fontainebleau. This graduation was his last as Dean of the MBA Programme, having completed a four-year term. His successor, Professor Jacob Cohen started in this role with the new MBA intake at the end of August this year. Read the press release.

Dean Frank Brown spoke at both ceremonies, remembering two students from this class, Steven Bussemaker and Fabrice De Greve, who were lost last October in a tragic accident in Bali. Dean Brown highlighted how the class had shown an incredible amount of support for each other to pull through this tragedy.

Dean Brown also spoke about professional and personal challenges in life, advising the students to always ask questions until they receive answers that they are happy with. Asking the students to stay in touch with the school, he congratulated them and wished them the best for their future endeavours.

MBA'08J graduation group photo, Singapore.
Click on photo to enlarge.

MBA'08J graduation group photo, Fontainebleau.
Click on photo to enlarge.

Cees van Lede
MBA'67, retiring Chairman of the INSEAD Board, spoke about INSEAD's history - its progression and expansion over the last 50 years. He informed the audience
that the first MBA classes were held in a monastery in Avon, near Fontainebleau and in the Château de Fontainebleau. Fifty years later MBA students have the opportunity to study on INSEAD's campuses in France and Singapore, as well as the USA by taking the INSEAD-Wharton Alliance MBA exchange programme.

He also pointed out to the students that they will have many opportunities ahead of them. 'Whatever you decide to do in life, base your choice on what you like doing, not the salary,' he said. Cees van Lede was Chairman of the INSEAD Board from January 2004 until July 2008. His successor is Franz Humer MBA'71.

The guest speaker, Sir Andrew Large MBA'70, former Deputy Governor, Bank of England, currently Chairman, Hedge Fund Standards Board Ltd., spoke about corporate social responsibility and globalisation. He also advised the students to remain true to themselves, to think long term and to remember their values. 'Never compromise and never count out integrity,' he said.

The Student Council presidents, Aliya Omer and Ralph Choufani, made speeches on behalf of their class, thanking INSEAD faculty and staff for one of the best years of their lives.

Anil Nanda MBA'08J gave a farewell speech highlighting some of the wonderful memories that his class will share for the rest of their lives, as well as the exceptional friendships that were created over just ten months together. Nanda also spoke about how taking a year out to reflect, learn and meet so many people from different cultures has given him a new sense of freedom. Thanking families and friends for their support over the past year, he wished his classmates the best, reminding them to have the courage to follow their dreams.


Outgoing Dean of the MBA Programme, Professor Antonio Fatas opened the ceremony in Fontainebleau

Guest speaker Fontainebleau. Sir Andrew Large MBA'70

Guest speaker Peter Bowie, CEO, Deloitte China, spoke about the importance of understanding cultural differences, the impact of climate change and the environment, and the role of inspirational leadership based on his past experiences. He gave examples of heroic leadership that arose from the recent earthquakes in China. He ended his speech by wishing the students every success as they take on new challenges. 'You're facing a much more volatile, dynamic, uncertain and exciting world than I did,' he said.

Rajat Dev MBA'08J gave a farewell speech thanking the students' families and friends and INSEAD faculty and staff for supporting them and making their year at INSEAD memorable.

Awards for outstanding teaching - Fontainebleau and Singapore
The Student Council members presented the awards on both campuses.

Core course: Professor Pascal Maenhout - Corporate Financial Policy
Elective: Professor Subramanian Rangan - Global Strategy & Management

Core: Professor Pushan Dutt - Prices & Markets
Elective: Professor Pierre Hillion - Options

After much applause for the winning professors, Antonio Fatas announced the winner of the Henry Ford Prize, Miroslav Lukes. Unfortunately Lukes couldn't attend the ceremony but had prepared a speech which Fatas read on his behalf.

In both Fontainebleau and Singapore, cocktail receptions and graduation parties followed the ceremonies.

Europe Campus
Boulevard de Constance,
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex, France

Asia Campus
1 Ayer Rajah Avenue
Singapore 138676, Singapore