2017 Honors Program Spring Banquet

On May 15, the Lundquist College of Business Honors Program hosted its 19th annual spring banquet at the Ford Alumni Center. Students, their families, and faculty members gathered together to celebrate and recognize the 2015-2017 cohort and their completion of the Honors Program curriculum and resulting graduation from the program.

Keynote speaker Jonathan Evans began the evening by sharing his experiences as co-founder and CEO of Skyward IO, a Verizon company. Skyward is a revolutionary drone operations company that Evans started during his time in the Oregon MBA program in 2012. Since then, Skyward has grown tremendously and recently merged with Verizon. Evans shared inspiring stories from his company as well as important lessons that he learned through his business experience. As Evans discussed making it through Skyward’s most challenging years, he emphasized the importance of persevering and maintaining core values. By sharing his story, Evans hoped to spark students’ curiosity to explore new things—after all, that’s how Skyward began years ago.

Sahar Petri, the 2016 Leadership Award recipient, announced two award winners. First, Julie Meunier of the 2016-2018 cohort received the 2017 Leadership Award. Meunier is highly involved in the Lundquist College of Business, notably working as a Duck Guide and as a member of the Oregon Consulting Group. Next, Doug Wilson was recognized as the recipient of the 2017 Faculty Award. Wilson taught the honors capstone course, BA 453H, in which teams of students worked on projects with the City of Albany.

Next, Amanda Gonzales led a look back on the 2017 Honors Program alternative break trip to Guatemala. Gonzales took time to thank the generous sponsors, donors, and all of the other individuals who made it possible for 11 students to travel with Where There Be Dragons, an experiential learning organization, this past spring break.

Honors Program director Deb Bauer followed Gonzales to present the final award of the night, the 2017 Student Achievement Award. This award is given to the graduating member with the highest GPA. This year’s recipient was Jack Miller. Bauer also recognized members of the student management board for their hard work and contribution to the program’s success this past year.

Graduating senior Ben Tesluk ended the night with a speech reflecting on the 2015-2017 cohort’s time in the Honors Program. He emphasized his appreciation for his cohort, whose members are now close friends, and for the opportunities the program provided. Tesluk also thanked Bauer for her enormous contributions to the program over the years, as she is finishing her final year as program director. Bauer received a standing ovation from banquet attendees as Tesluk presented her with a thank you gift from the graduating class.

The evening was full of inspiration and recognition of notable people involved in the Honors Program. The banquet marked 35 students’ successful completion of the program, a significant challenge and honor worthy of celebration.

Story by Carolyn Graeper ’18. Graeper is a business administration major with a minor in art. She will spend this summer working before traveling to Denmark to participate in a fall semester exchange program at Copenhagen Business School. Graeper will graduate in spring 2018.

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.