Standing in front of an Andy Warhol likeness, Eduardo Barrera (MBA ‘02) beamed as he greeted his former classmates at the Tepper School of Business. Barrera had flown in from Mexico City to attend his 10th reunion, part of the largest-ever Tepper Alumni Reunion Weekend.
It was clear from the start that Barrera, director of corporate investment at Banamex, was all in. He delighted over the city’s dazzling skyline, loaded up on Tepper sweatshirts and charmed his far-flung classmates. A sleek celebration at The Andy Warhol Museum on the evening of Saturday, April 21 capped off his whirlwind weekend.
“It’s been great seeing all of my friends,” Barrera said. “This is a perfect place for a reunion. When I heard it was going to be held at The Andy Warhol Museum, I really wanted to come.”
Almost 300 alumni and guests arrived on campus to reconnect with their Tepper School or Graduate School of Industrial Administration classmates. Themed “Back to Business,” the 2012 reunion was the milestone event for class years ending in 2 and 7 (such as the classes of 1992 and 2007), but all alumni were welcome.
“We welcome all our alumni, especially those whose class years end with 2 and 7, as well as the class of 2011. This is the first year we made a special invitation to the previous year’s graduating class,” said Dean Robert M. Dammon during the museum event. “It was a great idea and has proven to be a great success.”
Dammon also said this reunion had personal meaning: “This weekend is also a special celebration for me personally – it represents my first anniversary of becoming dean of the Tepper School. I can’t believe a year has gone by so quickly. I have enjoyed every minute of it, especially the opportunities I’ve had to meet our alumni and reconnect with many of my former students. The support I have received from alumni has been fantastic.”
Dammon also told alumni he was heartened to see so many of them reconnecting and looks forward to seeing them in the future as the Tepper School forges ahead. “This school has a very bright future.” he said.
John Sengenberger, executive director of alumni relations, also greeted the attendees. “I would like to thank all the classes that made this the largest reunion in GSIA-Tepper School history,” he said.
Sengenberger gave special recognition to the milestone classes, especially the class of 2002 which had the largest contingent, and to the class of 2011, which celebrated its one-year reunion. "We have alumni from all over the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia,” he said. “Thank you so much for coming back to campus. We are glad that you are alumni for a lifetime.”
Attendees at this year’s reunion weekend traveled from as far away as India, Italy and Colombia. Others, such as Jack O’Malley (MBA ‘07), a senior associate at PNC Bank in Pittsburgh, just crossed town. “I did a lot catching up with people,” he said.
The California contingent got a nudge from Ryan Baum (MBA ‘92), a project manager for Wells Fargo in San Francisco. “The California classmates have become lifetime friends,” he said.
He and other alumni enjoyed going back to campus on Saturday, attending networking events at Posner Hall and listening to the speakers. “It was great to hear Dean Dammon, one of our favorite professors, share his vision for the future,” Baum said.
Alumni also gathered to hear Allan Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy, give a presentation and signing of his new book titled “Why Capitalism?” Laurie Weingart, Carnegie Bosch Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory, gave a preview of the Tepper School’s new MBA curriculum set to begin in the fall of 2012. They also heard academic insights from faculty members Jay Apt, professor of technology and executive director of Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center; John Hooker, T. Jerome Holleran Professor of Business Ethics and Social Responsibility and professor of operations research; Peter Boatwright, associate professor of marketing; and Jeffrey Galak, assistant professor of marketing.
Barrera relished every moment back on campus. “I bought Carnegie Mellon University and Tepper sweatshirts and ate breakfast at Pamela’s restaurant,” he said. “It brought back many memories.”
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