2014 Senior Class Officers
On June 6, 2014, the graduating class of GSBLSU gathered together in LSU's Union Cotilion Ballroom to round out their three years of education, companionship, and personal development with their graduating ceremony.
Faith Black, President of the 2014 GSBLSU class, addressed her fellow classmates in her sincere and moving speech. We have included the speech below, in it's entirety, and hope that you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed hearing it the first time:
While preparing my comments for today, I asked several classmates for their feedback on three things: (1) how the Graduate School of Banking at LSU has benefitted them personally; (2) how it has benefitted them professionally; and (3) what they liked best about the banking school experience.
As for #1, the personal benefits, both Chance Carter and Marc Petro said the program has been a good gauge of their individual strengths and weaknesses in the banking industry. Wes Rouse said it allowed him to push himself on the education side and provided thought provoking questions about our industry and his financial institution. And Blake Taylor said he has benefitted by meeting bankers from around the country and learning about their banking processes.
As for #2, the professional benefits, Brent Huckaby said the program has helped develop his ability to be a more understanding and effective leader. Jeff Lee said he has gained professional knowledge that has already benefitted him and his bank and allowed him to provide input in areas where he previously had no experience. And Robyn Breshears said the Graduate School of Banking has helped her enhance skills that will be beneficial throughout her career.
And the overwhelming response to question #3 about the best part of banking school was…the people –specifically, each other as fellow students, colleagues and friends.
Deena Bradley, Lindsey Anderson and Anna Beglaryan all said that the friendships they formed with their three roommates was the best part of banking school for them. And I have to agree whole heartedly – because they are my three roommates and they were the best part for me too. We were strangers when we met the first day of our freshmen year but now these accomplished and remarkable women are dear friends and I’m grateful to the Graduate School of Banking for bringing them into my life.
I think Gage Walker’s response summed it up best when asked what he liked most about the experience: “There’s not anything I don’t like about banking school,” he said. “I just wish there were additional opportunities to have continuing education like this down the road. I’ve learned a great deal and had a great time doing it! I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.”
I believe all of the seniors join me in agreeing with our classmates. I know that for me, their comments truly represent how I have benefitted from and feel about this program. As I shared with Dr. Woodland in an email earlier this year, “It is with mixed emotions I approach my last year at the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. I feel relieved at having completed my tenth and final home study project, excited about being on campus and seeing my new friends again, and sad when I think about these three years coming to an end. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the program. It has far exceeded my expectations and been an exceptional personal and professional experience.”
In closing and on behalf of the senior class, I would like to thank all of the families and friends, spouses and children, and bosses and co-workers who supported us over the last three years as we spent weeks away from home and work. I would also like to thank Dr. Woodland, the Board of Trustees and the faculty for their immeasurable contributions to our continuing education and careers. And thank you tothe banking school staff – Ruth, Corinne and Theresa – for all you do every year to make this such a great experience for everyone involved.
Finally, I want to thank the senior class for electing me as your President. It has been a lot of work, a lot of fun and my honor to have this role. And thank you to the senior advisory council members – Mike, Ray, Humberto and Hector – for their support and contributions to our class.
We are an exceptional class and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU is even better because we were here. Good luck to us all as we take the knowledge we’ve gained here into our work and lives. As the motivational author Brian Tracy wrote, “Those people who continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.” Now let’s go do some moving and shaking!
President, Class of 2014
GSB LSU Graduation Speech
June 6, 2014
On June 7, 2013, the Graduate School of Banking held its 62nd graduation ceremony. It was a time to acknowledge the hard work and success of our students, as well as to reflect back on the many classes that have come before. In his graduation speech, Doug Weimer of LSU eloquently detailed the importance and diversity of our graduating class:
"Congratulations upon your completion of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. You are the 62nd class to graduate from the program, the first being in 1952, which means this is the 64th session of the school. With your graduation, a total of 5,227 have completed the program. Last year we graduated the 15,000th banker. That first class had less than 100 bankers compared to your class of 155. You come from 19 states and Mexico.
The objective of the school is to provide professional education to young bank officers to enable them to assume greater responsibilities in their banks and to rise to higher levels of management. In meeting its objective in its 64-year history the school has been very successful and indicated by the fact that a majority of the banks in the
southeast have at least one officer in a senior position.
About a third of you are in the 30-40 age category and about a third of you are over 40 years of age. Approximately 60% of you are employed in banks having assets less than billion dollars, and about half of you consider yourselves to be in middle management of your banks. In terms of education about 60 two thirds of you have bachelor degrees
and approximately 25% have graduate degrees.
You have completed 10 bank study problems which probably took an average of 20 hours each to finish. And you have sat in class about 270 hours and listened to approximately 65 lecturers, some were better than others but all were designed to enhance your professional education.
You have missed three Memorial Day holidays with your family and friends.
Your class is distinguished in several ways. First, there are 27 lady students graduating, which is the second highest number ever completing the school. Congratulations to these ladies. Second, you are distinguished in that your class has had one of the lowest attrition of any class in the history of the school. Only nine of the bankers who
started the program in 2011 are not with us here today, a drop- out rate of about 5% which is less than half the historical rate. This accomplishment is especially noteworthy in view of the many changes that have occurred in the industry since your enrollment."
The pride of GSBLSU has always been in our students and their success. We are delighted to have such a diverse background of graduates receiving their diplomas this year, and we look forward to continuing this trend. If you are considering attending the Graduate School of Banking, please contact our office or click here to learn more about our admissions. We look forward to including you in a future graduating class!