Last weekend, Franklin welcomed new candidates of the Executive MBA in China (a continuing education degree), their families, and members of the Abundance International Education Institute (AIEI) team to Lugano for their commencement ceremony. On Thursday, May 25, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Kim Hildebrant joined the arriving AIEI team and students on the President’s Lawn on the Kaletsch campus for congratulatory speeches followed by a tour of Franklin’s beautiful campuses. On Friday morning, the guests had the opportunity to visit Swiss companies, including Audemars SA, Moncucchetto, Associazione Nassa & Gubelin, and Mikron. In the afternoon, an Executive Conference was held in which the Municipal Councilor of Lugano and the HE Ambassador from the Chinese Embassy in Bern shared remarks about the incredible collaboration between Switzerland and China in this program. Professor Claudio Boër, Honorable Chairman of the Swiss Chinese Chamber of Commerce Ticino Chapter, and Mr. Alberto Stival, Director of Educational Development in Swiss Sustainable Finance, gave presentations relevant to the students and their MBA studies. Three students’ projects were presented, followed by a Q&A session. In the evening, visiting students enjoyed an excursion to Monte San Salvatore, the picturesque pinnacle of Ticinese beauty.
On Saturday, the graduation ceremony was held in the Nielsen Auditorium, where students received their caps and gowns and experienced a traditionally American-style ritual, in which students received their diplomas. Posed for a personalized photograph on stage highlighting their individual projects, each student stood between two screens, one representing Franklin University Switzerland and the other their Chinese institutional affiliation. Two valedictorians, one from each of the two China-based locations of AIEI in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, gave inspirational speeches, one speaking English and the other Chinese. Both languages were used in the proceedings, with translation available. The bilingual ceremony supported the theme of bridgebuilding between Switzerland and China referenced throughout the weekend. Following the ceremony, the new graduates gathered on the lawn, where they threw their caps in the air, joyfully celebrating their well-deserved accomplishments. This moment created a core memory that will not soon be forgotten. In the afternoon, the FUS EMBA China graduates embarked on a boat tour of Lake Lugano and punctuated their day with a graduation dinner at the grand Hotel Splendide Royal on the lakeside. The Taylor Institute at Franklin University Switzerland is exceptionally proud of the EMBA China (a continuing education degree) graduates of 2023. Congratulations!