Northeastern University held its 114th commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 6, conferring more than 3,000 students from a wide array of academic programs and countries. Among the graduates, nearly 700 undergraduates from the D'Amore-McKim School of Business received their bachelors' degrees at TD Garden. Additionally, 172 business students received MS and MBA diplomas in a separate ceremony later in the day at Matthews Arena.

This year's undergraduate ceremony was headlined by U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who challenged graduates to seize opportunities and address global challenges.

“You graduate today with an increasing reservoir of knowledge and skills – but how you use those gifts, how far you push yourselves, whether you give your own capabilities a full chance – that's not just about education; that's a question of character, and a question that only you can answer,” Kerry said.

DMSB'16 graduates give student address

For the first time in university history, two graduates—both D'Amore-McKim students—delivered the student address together. Annika Morgan, the Altschuler-​​Meyer CEO of Northeastern's student venture fund, IDEA, and Ben Bungert, president of the Entrepreneur's Club, once again teamed up to highlight Northeastern's unique educational model.

“Like most things we do, we're better together,” Morgan said. “There's no way we wouldn't have done this without the other.”

The pair met in the Entrepreneur's Club during their second year, when Bungert took over Morgan's responsibilities as co-director. Since then, they've worked together both inside and outside of Northeastern's entrepreneurial ecosystem; facilitating involvement in Mosaic, various campus initiatives, and even forming connections with leaders at other universities.

Added Bungert, “North­eastern expects and pushes stu­dents to do things that aren't tra­di­tional.”

Special ceremonies for D'Amore-McKim graduates

D'Amore-McKim BSBA and BSIB undergraduate students were also honored in a separate ceremony specifically for business graduates on Thursday, May 5, in Matthews Arena.

Dean Hugh Courtney challenged the Class of 2016 to continue to live life as they have on Northeastern's campus—challenging the status quo and unafraid to surpass the world's existing barriers.

Many awards and honors were also presented during the ceremony, including the 2016 General Electric Best Teacher Award, won by Associate Professor of Finance Nicole Boyson.

The featured student speaker was Jessica Maienza, a Business Administration major with dual concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurship. During her time with D'Amore-McKim, Maienza completed three co-ops, earned a 3.94 GPA, and was the leader of many student initiatives. She asked her fellow students to prioritize networking and keep in contact with one another.