From the Dean

May 30, 2024

I love the month of May. It marks both the climax of our academic year, a time to celebrate Finale and Commencement with our graduating class, and the year’s denouement, a time to take stock and reflect. 

First, the climax: The Jepson Class of 2024, comprising 61 majors and 19 minors, graduated May 12. Leadership studies alumna Heidi Petz, president and CEO of the Sherwin-Williams Company, offered sound leadership advice to the University’s newest graduates during her Commencement address.

Even as Class of 2024 members joyously tossed their caps high in the air, their thoughts turned to the next phase of their journey. Some will head to top-tier graduate schools, such as Georgetown University, the University of Edinburgh, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and, for three Jepson Scholars, the University of Oxford.

Others will launch their professional careers with organizations as diverse as they are, including Citibank, Nordstrom, the FBI, the Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute, and AlphaSights. All will carry with them a strong foundation in leadership studies that will serve them well in their future endeavors.

Second, the denouement: In reflecting on the last few months, I find much to be grateful for. I was impressed, yet again, by the breadth and depth of our students’ research, showcased beautifully at the Jepson Research Symposium on April 19. The Gary L. McDowell Institute had a particularly fruitful year, marked by a greatly expanded Student Fellows Program and a $500,000 grant awarded by the Endeavour Legacy Foundation to amplify the institute’s programming.

Thanks in large part to our dedicated alumni, the school had its most successful UR Here Giving Day to date, raising $160,535 from 257 donors, a 19 percent increase in dollars raised and a 42 percent increase in the number of donors from the previous year.

I hope to see many of our alumni and friends in the next few days at Reunion Weekend events. And I offer all of you my best wishes for a productive, restorative summer. 


Sandra J. Peart
Dean and E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professor in Leadership Studies
President, Jepson Scholars Foundation