On June 28 we were pleased to welcome numerous families and friends to the Lauder Business School campus for a graduation celebration. In his welcome address our Executive Director Alexander Zirkler congratulated the graduates and introduced our Guest of Honor, the US Ambassador to Austria – his Excellency Trevor D. Traina.

His Excellency reminisced over his university days and uncertainties after graduation about what to do next. He finished his BA in entrepreneurship at Princeton University and went on to found five tech companies and live in San Francisco before starting his diplomatic career. In his speech he mentioned the special connection he has to Austria as it was the first foreign country he visited as a small boy while his grandfather was also US ambassador to Austria. As Austria has always taken a special place in his heart he is convinced that it will also remain a special place for our graduates who spent three of their most formative years in Vienna. In addition, he congratulated LBS on working towards the American accreditation and on recently becoming an ACBSP member.

The ceremony also included the bestowal of three FH Professorships by the LBS Council – to Prof. (FH) Mag. Dr. Donald Baillie, to Prof. (FH) Dr. Konrad Koloseus and to Prof. (FH). Dr. Mag. Christin Vallinkoski.

Finally, the Director of the BA Studies Prof. (FH) Mag. Julius Dem, MBA addressed the graduates and their families in a very touching speech.

“For us at LBS every student is special, a raw diamond that is to be cut and polished until hopefully eventually a brilliant will appear. […] However, I must confess, I wasn’t aware how brilliant you all were! Since I started teaching at LBS I don’t remember ever having had a whole cohort eligible for the final exams and – as if this wasn’t enough – everyone passing the exam and – if this wasn’t enough – not only passing but with a huge number of merits and distinctions!

He concluded with Seneca’s words: “As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters”, wishing all our graduates thriving lives and successful careers.


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