LFGSM 2016 Graduates Celebrate New Beginnings

LFGSM Marketing

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

This past Sunday, June 26th, Navy Pier welcomed the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (LFGSM) graduating class of 2016. Friends, family, and faculty joined the graduates to celebrate their great accomplishments and new beginnings.

On a day that was meant to thunderstorm, the morning clouds parted ways to bring in the hot summer sun and the bluest skies across Lake Michigan. It was a day of excitement and cheer, as we honored 163 students for their successful completion of the LFGSM MBA Program.

LFGSM President and CEO Jeff Anderson congratulated the graduates on persevering, and he brought all in attendance back to childhood wonderment with the tale of The Little Engine Who Could. “Today you are standing on the top of the mountain and everyone is cheering,” Jeff said. “But your story doesn’t end here either. You are going down the mountain with a number of gifts. You are armed with a suite of knowledge that you worked hard to acquire.”

2016 Valedictorians and Hotchkiss Scholars

Dr. Cheryl Boncuore, Dean of Faculty and Degree Programs, presented the Valedictorian award to 19 outstanding students who achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average during their time at LFGSM.

In addition, fifteen graduates were awarded Hotchkiss Scholar medallions in the pre-ceremony in recognition of their outstanding academic achievement and demonstrated business impact.


Valedictorian Speech – Paul Cornille

GraduatesThis year’s Valedictorian Speech was delivered by Paul Cornille who has demonstrated his commitment to lifelong learning and the ability to use what he learned at Lake Forest to have a significant business impact. Paul’s career began in 1996 at Comcast, and he’s held such positions as Sales and Retention Manager, Quality Assurance Manager, and Patient Services Manager. He joined AbbVie in 2012 where he currently works as a Senior Marketing Manager.

Paul talked about his MBA journey – from relocating to Chicago for work, to realizing that in order to become a better leader he needed to take the next step to advance his career.  “When I started this journey, my focus was on making it through to the end – that last class and graduation,” Paul said. “In hindsight, I now realize that I was foolish.  As Ernest Hemingway told us, ‘it is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters, in the end.’ And what a journey it has been.”

Distinguished Executive Award (DEA): Patricia Coffey

The 2016 DEA was given to Patricia Coffey in recognition of her exceptional business leadership ability and commitment of service to the community at large.

GraduatesPat’s career spans over 30 years at Allstate Insurance Company where she is a seasoned executive and innovative leader, shaping strategy and developing high-impact technological solutions. She has broken through the metaphorical glass ceiling – starting out as a secretary before becoming a programmer, and then working her way up the ranks of Allstate as the Senior Vice President of Technology and Strategic Ventures. Her accomplishments are vast: “Top 100  IT Leader” by ComputerWorld, two-time “Women in Insurance Leadership” awardee, LFGSM Distinguished Director Awardee, to name a few.

Pat reflected on her career and shared with the graduating class three important themes she lives by: “Success is where opportunity meets preparation”; “living with gratitude”; and “the power of intention.”

She advised students that “Not everything will come to you neatly tied in a bow.  It’s up to you to grab it, to shape it, to lead it.” She encouraged us to find something to be grateful for, even in hard times, because “It is gratitude that builds confidence. It is an acknowledgement of the positive things in our lives that reminds us of what we have overcome and gives us the courage to continue on and to be leaders.” And she reminded us that our “intentions change our outcomes”.

Distinguished Faculty Award (DFA): Robert Arvidson

GraduatesRobert Arvidson received this year’s DFA in recognition of his commitment to academic excellence and contagious enthusiasm for the subjects he teaches. Bob is an invaluable member of the Business Leader Faculty®, where he focuses on leadership, teamwork, and coaching.

Bob received his MBA degree from Roosevelt University and a Master’s in Counseling from Loyola University Chicago. He had a wonderful 35-year career at Allstate Insurance, and is now enjoying a new career: individual and couples’ counseling for Catholic Charities.

Taking a page out of his own playbook, Bob spoke about something he knows quite well: leadership. “Always remember that to be a leader, you need followers. We would be pretty silly looking leaders if we checked over our shoulder and didn’t see anyone following us! Your attitude affects the people in your lives, at work and at home.”

Congratulations to the Graduates

Congratulations to the LFGSM Class of 2016 and welcome to our alumni community!  Our 20,000+ students, alumni, business leader faculty and corporate partners are an active professional network you rely on your entire career.

Please visit our Facebook page for more photos from the event.


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