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Boston Red Sox President Larry Lucchino Delivers Address at Bentley University’s Commencement Ceremony; Chef Ming Tsai Delivers Address at McCallum Graduate School of Business Ceremony
Larry Lucchino, president/CEO of the Boston Red Sox and a veteran of 33 years in Major League Baseball, addressed approximately 1,000 Bentley University undergraduates at the 93rd commencement ceremony on May 19, 2012. Speaking to an estimated audience of more than 8,000, he urged graduates to turn down the electronics and social media to hear their inspiration.
“Try not to let the roar of information pouring through your phones and computers deaden your intuition, overwhelm your critical judgment, or drown out the beautiful notes of your own inimitable song. Reduce Facebook. Limit the tweeting. Take off the headphones. Listen for your song. Sing it out loud. Reconnect with people.”
In true Red Sox fashion, Lucchino paralleled the milestones of Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary and graduates’ culmination of formal schooling. “I use the word ‘milestone’ deliberately. We are not at the end of the journey. Both Fenway Park and your education are works in progress … So, forever, we are joined by this year, 2012, a year which marks your great personal achievement, and Fenway Park’s historic achievement.”
During the ceremony, the mood was light as Lucchino gave practical, candid advice inspired by Charles Wheelan’s book 10 1/2 Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said. “They say that if you can dream it, you can do it. Don’t believe it … these are called dreams for a reason … you will adjust and change plans more than a few times in the years ahead.”
A two-time cancer survivor, he also reminded graduates, “Life is harsh and difficult; it is sometimes terrible and often ridiculously unfair … Rest, relaxation, a smarter diet and regular exercise … are essential. So are loyal friends who can fill life, and a supportive family … Expect good times, enjoy them when they arise, but prepare yourself for the adversity that will inevitably come your way.”
He continued: “Seek balance. A well-lived life is a balanced life. Don’t focus too early or too hard on your career. Deviate a bit. Embrace change,” said Lucchino, who has earned a legacy for creating ballparks that have transformed the parks’ role in the fan experience, influence on franchise value, and place in the community.
Lucchino challenged graduates to avoid the “me-first” culture. “Remember that humility is life’s greatest achievement … cultivate it throughout your life and career. Humility does not extinguish self-confidence; it reflects it.”
He concluded with a message urging the Class of 2012 to start early to find a cause. “To consider yourself – and to be considered – capable is a good thing. To consider yourself – and to be considered – loving is even better. But to know yourself as generous is best of all. Generosity is its own reward.”
The celebratory mood of the day included Lucchino and Bentley President Gloria Cordes Larson – along with Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster and Bentley mascot Flex the Falcon -- leading the crowd in singing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” (an 8th inning Fenway Park tradition).
Lucchino received an honorary doctor of commercial science degree at the ceremony.
MCCALLUM GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
At the 37th annual commencement ceremony, world renowned Chef Ming Tsai delivered the keynote address to graduate students at the McCallum Graduate School of Business ceremony. In an impassioned speech, he challenged graduates to find success by first setting out to make a difference.
“ … if your goal is to be successful and that is your only goal …I don’t think you’ll get there … Your goal has to be: how can I serve, how can I change the world, how can I leave my mark? Every one of you can leave your mark. By the way, if your goal is to change the world, you will be a success.”
Citing life lessons of Chinese philosopher Chuang-Tzu, he urged graduates to learn how to navigate hardships. “ … go with the flow… You’re going to get problems and issues, everyone has issues … You have to realize that things are going to be thrown at you and you have to flow with it because if you don’t, you will drown.”
He continued, “Only you can ultimately control your own happiness. Only you can decide what’s right and wrong … ultimately you have to disappoint some people, you cannot make everyone happy. If you don’t do what’s going to make you happy, you are never going to be very good at it.”
Quoting poet Maya Angelou, he said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
He concluded with a simple but powerful message: “You guys have an amazing opportunity to go out there and make people feel great. Cherish people, love people, respect people. You can be successful but not be happy. But if you are truly happy, you are a success.”
Tsai received an honorary doctor of commercial science degree at the ceremony.
ABOUT THE GRADUATES
At the undergraduate ceremony, 1,090 bachelor of science degrees, 19 bachelor of arts degrees and five certificates were awarded to 1,114 students. (Students may earn multiple degrees and certificates so may be counted more than once. Figures include degrees and certificates conferred on October 14, 2011; February 24, 2012; and May 19, 2012.)
At the McCallum Graduate School of Business ceremony, eight doctoral degrees, 462 master of science degrees, 258 master of business administration degrees, nine dual MS/MBA degrees, and 84 certificates were granted to 821 graduate students. (Students may earn multiple degrees and certificates so may be counted more than once. Figures include degrees and certificates conferred on October 14, 2011; February 24, 2012; and May 19, 2012.)
FACULTY AND STUDENT AWARDS
The Gregory H. Adamian Award for Excellence in Teaching was presented to W. Timothy Anderson, associate professor of sociology. The Bentley University Award for Excellence in Scholarship was presented to Jay Thibodeau, professor of accountancy. The Joseph M. Cronin Award for Excellence in Academic Advising was given to Gary Donato, adjunct lecturer in global studies.
Student honorees included senior Jennifer Michelle Collins, winner of the Professor Robert J. Weafer Award for Undergraduate Academic Excellence. The Professor E. William Dandes Award for Graduate Academic Excellence went to Jason Favreau and Alexa Kaklamanos. Amanda Coughlin was presented with the Outstanding Evening Scholar.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Larry Lucchino was named President/CEO of the Red Sox in February 2002. A veteran of 33 years in Major League Baseball, he was also President/CEO of the Baltimore Orioles (1988-93) and the San Diego Padres (1995-01). Lucchino manages the Red Sox franchise on a day-to-day basis with the active involvement of, and in collaboration with, Principal Owner John W. Henry and Chairman Tom Werner.
Lucchino has won rings with each franchise he has managed -- The Orioles won the 1983 World Series, the Padres won the 1998 National League Pennant, and the Red Sox won both the 2004 and the 2007 World Series. The historic victory in 2004 ended Boston’s 86-year championship drought.
In his 23 full seasons as a President/CEO, his clubs have had a winning record of 1,895-1,650 (.535), have reached post-season play eight times; have won three pennants, and two World Series. In those 23 seasons, attendance has improved over the previous year 16 times and the franchises have set club attendance records 13 times, including an 8 year stretch with the Red Sox, topping 3 million for the first time in Red Sox history in 2008, and again surpassing 3 million in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Lucchino was instrumental in pulling together the ownership group that joined John Henry and Tom Werner in their successful effort to purchase the Red Sox, announced on December 20, 2001. While the other groups that sought to purchase the Red Sox advocated a replacement for venerable Fenway Park, the group led by Henry, Werner, and Lucchino was the only one committed to saving - and improving - America’s most beloved ballpark, which celebrates its centennial this year.
In recognition for “long and meritorious service to baseball” over three decades in the game, Lucchino was awarded the Judge Emil Fuchs Award by the Boston Baseball Writers’ Association in January 2011.
In Boston he is a board member and served as the co-chair of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s $1 billion “Mission Possible” Capital Campaign, which reached its goal in 2009, and is also on the board of Special Olympics International.
Born in Pittsburgh, Lucchino graduated with honors from Princeton University and is a graduate of the Yale Law School. At Princeton, he was a member of two Ivy League championship basketball teams.
In 1974, he joined Williams and Connolly, the law firm founded by his mentor, friend, legendary sportsman, and trial attorney Edward Bennett Williams. He became a partner in 1978 specializing in sports law and litigation. He was general counsel to the Washington Redskins and a member of the team’s Board of Directors. He became vice president/general counsel and then president of the Orioles after Williams bought the team and was charged with rebuilding the club’s baseball and business operations.
In addition to his three World Series rings, the avid sportsman also has the unique distinction of earning a Super Bowl ring (Redskins, ‘83), and a Final Four watch (Princeton, ‘65). He is married to Stacey Johnson Lucchino, and has two stepchildren, Davis and Blair.
For more on Lucchino, you can read his full bio here.
Chef Ming Tsai
Chef Ming Tsai was raised in Dayton, Ohio, where he spent hours cooking alongside his mother and father at their family-owned restaurant, Mandarin Kitchen. He attended Yale University where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering, while spending his junior summer at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris. After graduation, Tsai worked in kitchens around the globe including training under renowned Pastry Chef Pierre Herme in Paris and in Osaka with Sushi Master Kobayashi. Upon his return to the United States, Tsai attended graduate school at Cornell University where he earned a master’s degree in Hotel Administration and Hospitality Marketing. He continued to learn varied styles of cuisine, holding positions at establishments in Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco and Santa Fe.
In 1998 Tsai opened Blue Ginger in Wellesley, MA and immediately impressed diners from Boston and beyond with the restaurant's innovative East-West cuisine. In its first year, Blue Ginger received 3 stars from the Boston Globe; was named "Best New Restaurant" by Boston Magazine; was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as "Best New Restaurant 1998;" and Esquire Magazine honored Tsai as "Chef of the Year 1998." The James Beard Foundation crowned Tsai "2002 Best Chef Northeast" and, since 2002, the Zagat Restaurant Guide has rated Blue Ginger the "2nd Most Popular Boston Restaurant." In 2007 Blue Ginger received the Ivy Award from Restaurants & Institutions for its consistent achievement in meeting the highest standards for food, hospitality and service. In 2009 Tsai and Blue Ginger won IFMA's Silver Plate Award in the Independent Restaurant Category recognizing overall excellence in the industry.
In 2009 Chef Tsai’s public television show, “Simply Ming,” received two Emmy nominations for 'Outstanding Culinary Program' and 'Outstanding Lifestyle/Culinary Host,' and received two Bronze Telly Awards in the categories of 'Lighting' and 'Art Direction.'
Tsai began cooking for television audiences on the Food Network, where he was the 1998 Emmy Award-Winning host of East Meets West with Ming Tsai. Ming's Quest, his popular cooking adventure series, also aired on Food Network. In the summer of 2008, Tsai traveled to the Beijing Olympics with NBC’s Today show to provide viewers with insight into food customs and traditions that define his Chinese heritage. Tsai is also the author of four cookbooks: Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai, Simply Ming, Ming's Master Recipes, and Simply Ming One-Pot Meals.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Further details on Commencement 2012 can be found on the Bentley University commencement web site at: http://commencement.bentley.edu/
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.