Closing Banquet Honors and Celebrates

PROVO, Utah – Apr 18, 2017 – More than six hundred Marriott School students, faculty, and alumni came together Thursday, 6 April, at the Provo Marriott Hotel for the annual Marriott School of Management closing banquet. The banquet serves to unify the Marriott School student body and stakeholders as well as to celebrate their achievements from the school year.

This year’s theme, Elevate and Accelerate, highlighted the Marriott School vision to rise to a higher standard of professional development and accelerate future contributions. The evening included achievement awards, uplifting music, and several speakers.

Merrill J. Bateman, former dean of the Marriott School and former president of BYU, presented the annual Bateman Student Choice Awards to finance senior Erika Mahterian from Agora Hills, California; MBA student Erika Nash from Murray, Utah; and information systems professor Greg Anderson. Bateman then urged students to adhere to the Marriott School values in their professional careers.

“As you build the tapestry of your life, you never know how the threads are coming together,” he said. “But the Lord will intervene in your life to help you be successful if you live righteously.”

After the Bateman Awards, winners of the annual Interdisciplinary Case Competition were announced. Mercedes Aquilini, a strategy senior from Redmond, Washington; JP Aquilini a premanagement sophomore from Sao Paulo, Brazil; Jonathon Neu, an information systems junior from Burlington, New Jersey; and Ashlyn Trussel, a global supply chain junior from Redmond, Washington placed first. Their innovative solution will help the Marriott School foster a climate of mutual respect and professionalism for all male and female students. Their ideas included training students and faculty on gender diversity and resolving common misconceptions within the school. The deans will utilize the team’s research and resolution as they implement new policies in the coming years.

Stan Christensen, managing director of Arbor Advisors, was the keynote speaker. Christensen has worked as an investment banker on Wall Street, in the nonprofit sector forging positive international relations for the Harvard Negotiation Project, and as general manager of a Silicon Valley software company. In his remarks, Christensen focused on three main points for building a successful career and happy life:

  1. If you are too focused on obtaining a certain job or working for a certain company, you will miss the inevitable opportunities that will present themselves to you.
  2. Do not rely on other people or predetermined ideas to carve the path that you should follow.
  3. Recognize what makes you feel excited and find a job that helps you feel that excitement.

Christensen closed his remarks by urging students to apply the lessons they had learned during their time at the Marriott School to influence their families and communities for good as they move forward.

“There is a path out there for all of you, but your journey will require faith,” said Christensen. “Your path is unlikely to be linear or risk-free, but no one makes it to my age and wishes they had taken less risk. You’ve all been given an amazing gift of a great education. Now is the time to take that gift and put it to use. Combine your skills with your passions and create meaningful impact.”

Winners of the Interdisciplinary Case Competition pose with Marriott School representatives.
Marriott School Bateman Award winners pose with Marriott School representatives.
The Bateman Awards were held at the Provo Marriott Hotel.

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen
Writer: Abby Eyre