Fall Has Been Crazy Busy for Michigan Ross BBAs (And That's a Good Thing)


It’s hard to believe the holiday season is already upon us. With so much happening in the Michigan Ross BBA Program this fall, the semester is off to a great start. As usual, several insightful and fun events brought students together and set them up for another year of success.

First-Year Welcome 

Taking place on the Friday before the start of the semester, the First-Year Welcome for Michigan Ross BBA students complements summer orientations at the University of Michigan and Ross. The event introduces first-year students to the business school and begins building their Ross community. Scott DeRue, the Edward J. Frey Dean at Ross, and Norm Bishara, associate dean of undergraduate programs, welcomed students and discussed the Ross community values. They also encouraged students to write their own story as they start their college journey. After the remarks, students met with their BA 100 classmates and Ross faculty and staff during a reception. 


Also taking place the week before the school year began, G.E.A.R. UP is the sophomore orientation event (for both returning and transfer students). The event educates the incoming sophomore class about Ross and its resources, while also introducing the themes they will study in BA 200 - leadership, analogy, storytelling, and relationship building. This year for the first time, 640 students traveled to the Detroit Institute of Arts, where they reflected on the role of business and the arts in society by viewing Diego Rivera's world-famous “Detroit Industry” murals in person and learning about the murals’ significance as a way to chart the role of business in society. They also considered their own leadership styles using museum resources and reconnected with classmates and met new ones, along with building their Ross network with the numerous staff and faculty who served as volunteers. 

Junior and Senior Convocations

Held early in the semester, the Junior and Senior Convocations welcome students back to campus and are focused on giving students the opportunity to kick off their school year by reconnecting with their classmates, staff, and faculty. This year, the event took place at the U-M Museum of Art, and was intentionally planned with no formal programming, speeches, or activities. Students were able to mingle with each other over refreshments and enjoy the best art collection at any university in the country. To cap off the evening, the students each received a special gift.

Handleman Lecture 

The annual Joseph and Sally Handleman Lecture Series is open to all U-M students, and attendance is required for first-year and sophomore BBAs. Each year in September, the lecture series invites a prominent speaker to campus to engage students and spark thoughts around emerging business challenges and opportunities beyond traditional lines. Actor and musician Common was the featured speaker this year, and he spoke about the intersection of arts and business in his career, and his journey of self discovery to be successful, including how he’s used his platform as an artist to inspire positive change.  Previous Handleman Lecture Series events featured Malcolm Gladwell, Neri Oxman, and Daniel Pink.

Paul Kirsch
Paul Kirsch
Managing Director of the Michigan Ross BBA Program

"Lean in. Do NOT be a passive participant in your education."