On Oct. 14, 27 students earned an Executive MBA degree from Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (ITTB). They are the first graduates from the first program in the world that offers a joint MBA degree from both an Indian and an American university.
The graduation recognition ceremony took place at Olin’s Emerson Auditorium, with family and friends of the inaugural cohort watching both in person, and on livestream from India for those unable to make the trip to St. Louis. Faculty members from both schools were on hand to congratulate the new graduates; David Farr, chairman and CEO of Emerson Electric Co., gave the keynote address.
“We appreciate very much the commitment that you’ve made as our first students in the program, and we wish you continued and great success as your careers unfold in the future,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said to the graduating class.
ITT Bombay and Washington University have collaborated since 2009. Both schools are members of the McDonnell Academy Global Energy and Environment Partnership (MAGEEP); the McDonnell International Scholars Academy; and the IITB-WUSTL Corporate Alliance. The new joint degree program further strengthens the partnership already in place.
“This is a joint degree, where students receive a single diploma with the seal of both universities,” said Kurt Dirks, dean and the Bank of America Professor of Managerial Leadership, adding that it is the first and only such degree program at the university.
Dirks also delivered remarks to the graduating cohort. “You strengthen our schools and enhance our very valuable worldwide networks of accomplished alumni,” Dirks said. “Your passion to succeed will inspire the students who follow you.”
Students in the first class had an average of 15 years experience in a wide range of industries, including health care, technology, finance and government. The second cohort has already begun its studies.