Published: June 18, 2012
Distinguished Alumni speaker Martin Trust, SM ’58, Industrial Management
Members of the MBA and Leaders for Global Operations Class of 2012 gathered together at the Boston Opera House with their friends and family to celebrate the completion of their MIT degrees at the fourth annual Convocation held Thursday, June 7, 2012.
Convocation celebrates the achievements of the Class while also welcoming students to the MIT alumni community. This year’s ceremony included speeches by Deputy Dean JoAnne Yates, David Schmittlein, John C Head III Dean, student speaker Charles (Chuck) Frantz, Distinguished Alumni speaker Martin Trust, SM ’58, Industrial Management, President of Brandot International Ltd., and Alumni Ambassador Alex Min, SB ’91, MBA ’07.
Yates was the first to address the audience, congratulating the Class of 2012. She also thanked their friends and family, many who traveled halfway around the world, to attend Convocation and Commencement ceremonies.
Yates told the graduating students, “You will each, in your own way, be called on professionally and personally to improve your organizations, your communities, and the world. The relationships you have formed with each other and with the larger Sloan community will support you in these endeavors.”
Yates then introduced student speaker Chuck Frantz, MBA ’12.
Frantz quickly set expectations for his talk by announcing that he was not class valedictorian nor would he tell his life story. Instead, he spoke of community.
Addressing his classmates, Frantz said, “I liken the Sloan community to that of a team. Nearly every class has a group project component, and we as students pride ourselves on our collaborative nature.”
Frantz then spoke of Bruce Tuckman’s high performing teams and the stages they go through as they develop: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning.
In the first phase, Frantz noted that team members remain positive and polite. The storming phase begins when people stop being nice to each other—especially during the first semester’s Core classes. “As challenging as the academics were for many of us, we each had an incredible Core team.”
He added, “In the norming stage, a community becomes comfortable with each other, and the true socializing begins. Deep friendships are formed that for many of us will last a lifetime.”
Performing is the next stage—this is when students build high functioning teams. The final phase is the adjourning phase. Frantz said, “Sadly, this is where we find ourselves today, as our short time together comes to a close as a class. But I can tell everyone that they should instead focus and celebrate our pride and our accomplishments.”
Laura Esnaola on the violin and Helen Ma on the piano—both members of the MBA Class of 2012, then performed “Gypsy Airs,” by the Spanish composer Pablo de Sarasate. The piece was selected to reflect their feelings at graduation time.
Dean Schmittlein then addressed the Class of 2012. “Congratulations! You’ve experienced a great deal of change, personally, here at MIT Sloan. You are now armed with analytical tools, leadership skills, and the support of a global network of alums. I am confident that you will achieve success.”