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Elkin B. McCallum, Joan Fabrics Chairman and CEO, Encourages Bentley College Graduate Students to "Look at the Whole Person"

May 19, 2000

WALTHAM, Mass.- In a heartfelt keynote address, Joan Fabrics Chairman and CEO Elkin B. McCallum encouraged the McCallum Graduate School of Busines' 25th graduating class to strive for more than financial success, and to also focus on being a well-rounded, good person. McCallum, a Bentley College trustee and 1967 alumnus, addressed 554 graduates and their guests in the first commencement ceremony since the Graduate School of Business was named in his honor.

In the afternoon ceremony, 241 master of science degrees in Accountancy, Accounting Information Systems, Business Economics, Computer Information Systems, Finance, Personal Financial Planning and Taxation were awarded; 289 master of business administration degrees, and 24 certificates were conferred as well. In total, 554 graduate students from 21 states and 40 countries graduated.

McCallum first took a few moments to discuss how his career-long association with Joan Fabrics began when he took a job there in 1962 as a dock worker to help pay his Bentley tuition. Over a 20-year period, he became immersed in every aspect of the business, including running factories, purchasing raw materials, organizing sales and product development. Eventually, at the age of 39, McCallum was named President and Chief Operating Officer of the company. In 1988, he purchased 100% ownership interest and took full control of the company. Since then, the company has grown both internally and from strategic acquisition from $100 million in annual sales to $800 million in its latest fiscal year.

Aside from the "obvious- hard work, a good education and the right company," McCallum's words of advice for students' professional lives included starting at the bottom, looking for mentors, applying common sense, admitting mistakes, and bringing passion to everything that has meaning.

"Nothing about this life should be boring. Find your passion, transform it into unbridled enthusiasm in your life and workplace, and it is amazing what you can accomplish and get others to accomplish with and for you," said McCallum.

McCallum, an active supporter of Bentley College and many cultural, civic and educational organizations in the Greater Lowell Community, also stressed the importance of giving back to the world. "...once you feel that you have the ability and desire to make a difference in the lives of others, it is never ending. To give is good, and it has all of the same excitement and satisfaction of any major business deal that I have ever been involved with."

McCallum's concluding remarks encouraged graduates to step back and take a look at the whole person. Finding and maintaining a balance in your life and making a difference in the lives of others were among the list of fundamentals that are "key to a good and productive life."

The afternoon began as Bentley College President Joseph G. Morone welcomed the Class of 2000 with hearty congratulations.

"In a few minutes, you are going to walk across this stage," Morone noted. "As you do, think of yourself as a shareholder- a shareholder for life- of the McCallum Graduate School at Bentley College. The degree you will soon receive is your certificate of ownership. Think of it as an asset, an appreciating asset. You have my commitment, and the commitment of our trustees and faculty, that we will do everything we can to not only protect your asset, but to enhance its value.

"And so, as you walk across this stage, I hope you feel pride about what your degree from the McCallum Graduate School means today, and confidence about what it will mean tomorrow."

Morone added, "I speak for everyone on this stage, and for all who have worked with you at Bentley, when I say we are excited about what you have achieved and what you will accomplish. We are confident that as you continue your careers, you will make the graduate school look good. We are determined to give you every reason to be proud that you are alumni of the McCallum Graduate School of Business at Bentley College."

Beginning on Monday, May 22, the text of all keynote speeches will be available online at

Faculty and student awards were presented as well. The Gregory H. Adamian Excellence in Teaching Award for full-time faculty was presented to Stephen D. Lichtenstein, professor and chairperson of Law. The same award for adjunct faculty was presented to Amy Curtis-Webber, adjunct instructor of English. Bentley's Scholar of the Year Award was bestowed upon Jane Fedorowicz, Rae D. Anderson Chair in Accountancy and Information Systems. The Joseph M. Cronin Award for Excellence in Academic Advising was presented to Sean M. McDonald, director of the International Studies Program and assistant professor of Government.

Student honoree Richard E. Ohlsten of Lincoln, Mass., was awarded the Professor E. Williams Dandes Award for Graduate Academic Excellence.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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