From top left: 2023 Full-time MBA graduates; 2023 Evening & Weekend MBA graduates; Members of the Undergraduate Class of 2023; Students from our Berkeley Charter of Professional Accountancy Program; Courtney Chandler and Dean Harrison with Outstanding Staff Award Team winners: MBA Programs for Working Professionals Admissions; Courtney Chandler and Dean Harrison with Outstanding Staff Award winners (center) Amanda Gill, Jacob Schroth, and Maria Martinez-Madrigal; Haas staff attend Outstanding Staff Awards & Appreciation Luncheon; Haas staff and students attend Bruce Lee exhibit in San Francisco.

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you enjoyed the long Memorial Day weekend and were all able to spend some fun time with family and friends. Here are my highlights for May:

  • Commencement reflections: With back-to-back graduations, May was a month of bittersweet goodbyes. Our PhD graduation was first up followed by Undergraduate and MBA Commencements. Our 12 PhD students were hooded on May 5. About 440 undergraduates crossed the stage at The Greek on May 16, followed a few days later by 600 full-time and evening & weekend MBAs. This year’s alumni commencement speakers were especially inspiring: Elena Gomez, BS 91, chief financial officer at Toast, told undergrad students to learn “when to take the shot or pass the ball.” As Haas graduates they are ready to be star players and will have opportunities “to help others imagine the impossible.” At MBA commencement, Frank Cooper III, BS 86, encouraged students to “take risks rather than fear them because there’s no such thing as a no-risk proposition, even along what feels like the safest and surest path.” It feels deeply satisfying to send a new crop of Berkeley Leaders into the world!

  • Hats off to our outstanding staff!: Our annual Outstanding Staff Awards & Appreciation Luncheon is one of my favorite events of the year because it allows us to take a pause and recognize our hard work toward making Haas the phenomenal educational institution that it is. Congratulations to all of our Outstanding Staff Award winners: Amanda Gill (Question the Status Quo), Jacob Schroth (Confidence Without Attitude), Paz Melendez-Canales (Beyond Yourself), Maria Martinez-Madrigal (Students Always), and our MBA Programs for Working Professionals Admissions team. We are so thrilled to have such rockstar colleagues as part of our community.

  • Unsung heroes: I’d like to take a moment to recognize the contributions of our Dean’s Staff Advisory Committee (DSAC) members who have gone beyond themselves to represent the diverse staff voices at Haas. This year, DSAC participated in and contributed feedback on several high-level discussions pertaining to staff engagement and operations, including flexible work arrangements and filling previously open positions on our HR team. Thank you to all of the committee members who served this year: Kay Dawson, Monica Torres, Jessica De Anda, David Moren, Eric Moy, Genevieve Smith, and Marco Lindsey.

Before I sign off, I’d like to congratulate our Cleantech to Market Program (C2M), which celebrated its 15th anniversary on May 10. Our C2M team invited 500 of its alumni to campus to commemorate the milestone.

I’d also like to recognize Associate Professor Panos Patatoukas and our BEE team for co-designing a financial literacy pilot program (in partnership with PG&E) for 24 high school students from Oakland. We held a graduation ceremony on May 13, where Dean Harrison and Marco Lindsey spoke about building social and financial wealth and the need for more diverse leaders at the helm of startups and established companies.

We recently welcomed 60 new students into our Berkeley Charter of Professional Accountancy (BCPA)  program this summer. Our 2023 class is quite diverse: women make up about half of the class, more than 20% are international students, and about two-thirds of the class are first-generation college students. Kudos to our Center for Financial Reporting and Management team for keeping this program strong!

I’d like to give a shout-out to our DEIJB team for hosting events in honor of AANHPI and Jewish American Heritage Months. Élida Bautista and Marco Lindsey invited staff and students for a special tour of the Chinese Historical Society of America’s “We are Bruce Lee: Under the Sky, One Family” exhibit to honor Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Meanwhile, Katrina Koski moderated an “Ask Me Anything” hybrid panel featuring David Moren, Elizabeth Friedman Branoff, Ezra Wolkenfeld, and Julia Rosof to talk about what it means to be Jewish at Haas and the Jewish American diaspora.

And finally, we will celebrate the 125th anniversary of our school’s founding—the second oldest business school in the nation—starting in July! Stay tuned for more information in my next update.

In keeping with tradition, I will be combining our June and July updates again this year, so expect my next update in early July.

Warm regards,


Courtney Chandler, MBA 96 

Chief Strategy & Operating Officer
Senior Assistant Dean

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