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The next chapter: Chambers College celebrates December 2019 graduates

The next chapter: Chambers College celebrates December 2019 graduates

West Virginia University’s John Chambers College of Business and Economics welcomed 179 newly minted graduates to a group of accomplished alumni. During Saturday’s commencement ceremony, the Chambers College conferred 143 bachelor’s degrees and 36 master’s degrees.

“Commencement is always one of the highlights of the year, and we couldn’t be more proud of our graduates,” said Graham Peace, associate dean for Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Programs for the Chambers College. “They’re going to go onto great things in life, and we look forward to seeing what they achieve.”  

There is no question that those achievements will be great — and that they will lead us into the future of business.

“The Chambers College prepares our students to think boldly about business so that they have the knowledge and the courage to change our state and our world for the better,” said Javier Reyes, Milan Puskar Dean of the Chambers College and Vice President of Start-up West Virginia. “This crop of innovators, entrepreneurs and future business leaders will come up with the next big idea or the next disruptive technology that will impact us in ways that we can’t yet imagine.”

Javier at graduation

Among those graduates is MBA student Benjamin Gandee, who entered the program with a background in healthcare.

“As an individual that had no business background, the Chambers College has prepared me for the business world and has increased my awareness and understanding to all aspects of business in daily life,” he said.

Gandee will continue his role with the residential and detox program for substance abuse through WVU Medicine’s Center for Hope and Healing. He is also currently enrolled in the Masters of Social Work program.

“My advice to future graduates would be to take advantage of the resources offered through the University and CCOBE,” he said. “The faculty and staff of the Chambers College, being one of those resources are fantastic and truly care about your success in both personal life and academia.”

Ryan Borrell, who is graduating with a degree in Management Information Systems, said the faculty of the Chambers College have played an integral role in his success – particularly Graham Peace, Nanda Surenda and Salman Nazir.

"I never felt the challenges I faced were too challenging for the Business college,” Borrell said. “No matter how unique, the faculty and staff always helped me see my issues to the end."

The guest speaker for this semester’s commencement was Nesha Sanghavi, the owner and president of women’s collegiate brands UG Apparel and chicka-d. Sanghavi is a 2008 graduate of the then-College of Business and Economics with degrees in finance and economics.  

Nesha Sanghavi speaking

“I am very honored to have been chosen to give the December commencement,” Sanghavi said. “This is such an important day for our graduates, and I’d been looking forward to being a part of it.”

Sanghavi was named West Virginia’s 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016 and this year was inducted into the John Chambers College of Business and Economics Roll of Distinguished Alumni, the youngest in the Roll’s history.

Find the full agenda for the December Commencement ceremony here.



CONTACT: Brittany Murray
Senior Writer, Office of Strategic Communications
John Chambers College of Business and Economics
(304) 293-5927;

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Chambers College