CEO tells business, computing and engineering graduates to be courageous in everything they do

Quinnipiac conferred degrees to 802 graduates of the School of Business and 100 graduates of the School of Computing and Engineering

May 13, 2023

Graduates celebrate on line with their friends

Jill Mayer, the CEO of Bead Industries, encouraged Quinnipiac graduates to meet every opportunity with courage as the theme of her Commencement address for the School of Business and the School of Computing & Engineering on Saturday.

Jill Mayer wears commencement robes and speaks into a microphone
Jill Mayer, chief executive officer of Bead Industries, delivered the keynote address.

As a fifth-generation leader, Mayer charted a career path that took her from a biotech company in Vermont to a startup affiliated with Google to her family business in Connecticut.

“Your path may be a windy one like mine. At times, you may feel as if you’ve lost your way and you aren’t on the career journey you envisioned in your mind when you started. But you are,” said Mayer.

“All you have to do is remember to face every opportunity that comes your way with courage because it may still get you where you want to go,” she said. “Of course, you should still have a plan for your career path, but be flexible. Perhaps you’ll take an important detour you didn’t even know you needed. The trials you face along the way will be the moments that define and shape you.”

Mayer also told graduates they are already well positioned to succeed.

“Some of you may have jobs lined up, some of you may already be working. Some may even be going back for another degree,” Mayer said. “Whatever your path, your time at QU has prepared you well for the challenges ahead.

“Whether it’s through class project work or your professional experiences, you now have the confidence to ask questions and be vulnerable,” she added. “The emotional intelligence you have garnered here will undoubtedly be the foundation for your success.”

President Judy Olian said as engineers, business professionals, cybersecurity experts, auditors, tax specialists and other careers, the Class of 2023 will sometimes encounter profound human and professional dilemmas in the workplace.

Cameron Davignon speaks at a podium in front of the library
Cameron James Davignon, MBA '23, delivered the welcome from the Class of 2023.

For example, Is this a device that is safe enough to bring to the market? Am I invading individual privacy through this new software program? Am I proud of this line of work that my company is selling?

“These are very tough calls that will require you to draw on your lived experiences, your most fundamental values, your professional training in the field, and the ethical choices that we’ve explored with you as part of your training,” Olian said.

“I trust that you’re coming out of your years as a Bobcat as graduates who are — and I quote from our mission statement — ‘enlightened global citizens who are prepared for careers of the future.’ I am confident that you are, and we are so proud of how you’ve transformed over your years at Quinnipiac,” she said.

Cameron James Davignon, MBA ’23, who delivered the class welcome, said discipline beats motivation.

“When you want to achieve a goal, write it down. How will you get there? What are the milestones? What will you do on a regular basis to keep moving forward?” Davignon said.

“Motivation will ebb and flow as our lives change. Discipline makes a goal our responsibility. It allows us to believe in ourselves and puts us in control,” he added. “Having discipline means that even in our busiest times, even in our darkest moments, we will accomplish what we set out to do. Let’s prove ourselves right.”

Hephzibah Rajan speaks at a Quinnipiac podium with flowers in front of it
Hephzibah Rajan ’23 delivered the response of the Class of 2023.

Hephzibah Rajan ’23 delivered the Response of the Class of 2023 from a place of experience and optimism.

“To my fellow graduates, as you step into the next chapter of your life — whatever that may be — remember that failure encountered is a lesson learned,” Rajan offered. “Nelson Mandela once said, ‘The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.’ Trust me, in the School of Computing and Engineering, we are prepared to fail before we even succeed.

“You debug for 14 hours ... just to find that the error was a missing semicolon. But lesson learned: Every time you stumble or fall, stand up taller, stronger and wiser,” she said.

Shelby Bakker ‘22, MBA ’23, sang the national anthem before thousands of parents, family members and friends on the Mount Carmel Campus Quad.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Jeanna Doherty ’94 welcomed the Class of 2023 into an alumni community of more than 60,000 members around the world, with a reminder that a Quinnipiac education is a relationship that lasts a lifetime.


Graduates walk down the Quad during Commencement

Business, Computing, Engineering Ceremony

Watch the recording of the School of Business and School of Computing and Engineering Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement.


Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m.

Download the program (PDF)

Order of Exercises

School of Business
School of Computing and Engineering

10 a.m.

Trumpet Prelude and Processional

Pomp and Circumstance, Sir Edward Elgar

Call to Commencement

Khalilah Brown-Dean, PhD
Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs

National Anthem

Shelby Bakker, MBA ’23


Judy D. Olian, PhD

Welcome from the Class of 2023

Cameron James Davignon, MBA ’23

Response of the Class of 2023

Hephzibah Rajan, BS ’23

Introduction of Commencement Speaker

Dr. Tamilla Triantoro
Associate Professor of Business Analytics and Information Systems, Faculty Coordinator of Master's in Business Analytics Program

Commencement Address

Jill Mayer
Chief Executive Officer, Bead Industries

Presentation of Candidates for Degrees and Awards

School of Business: Holly Raider, PhD, Dean
School of Computing and Engineering: Taskin Kocak, PhD, Dean

Conferral of Degrees

Judy D. Olian

Alumni Welcome

Jeanna Doherty ’94
Chair, Alumni Association Board


Amor Vittorioso | G. Gastoldi
March | A. Valenti

Jill Mayer

Jill Mayer wears commencement robes and speaks into a microphone

School of Business and School of Computing and Engineering Undergraduate and Graduate Ceremony | Saturday, May 13, 10 a.m.

Jill Mayer is the CEO of Bead Industries Inc., a Milford, Connecticut-based company that is comprised of two divisions: Bead Chain and Bead Electronics, and a wholly-owned subsidiary, McGuire Mfg. Company. As its fifth-generation leader, Mayer has built upon the family legacy by transforming the organizational culture through innovation, shared purpose and accountability. A recognized voice in the small-business community, Mayer was named to the National Small Business Association Leadership Council in March. NSBA is the nation’s oldest small-business advocacy organization and operates on a strictly nonpartisan basis. In addition to serving on the executive board of directors for ManufactureCT and the board of Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), Jill is also active in Vistage and Women in Manufacturing. In 2019, she was recognized as one of Connecticut Magazine’s 40 Under 40.

She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Vermont and a Master of Science from Champlain College.

Story, Photos and Ceremony Recording

A Message from the President

President Judy Olian

Congratulations to the Class of 2023! You are well prepared to continue your life journey as professionals who will impact the world and the workplaces of tomorrow. We are confident you will apply your talent, passion and education to serve boldly as engaged citizens in your communities — and beyond. These qualities are at your core and will continue to propel you well into the future.

As graduates of Quinnipiac University, you have learned from a distinguished faculty and a committed staff who proudly stand beside you today. You also have learned valuable lessons from each other during this most transformative time in your lives. Please stay connected to our Bobcat family, visit us often, and draw upon the many friendships and mentorships you have formed here.

This day is shared with your families and friends, those who also deserve special recognition and appreciation for their contributions to your success. Enjoy this momentous achievement! Together, we are cheering for you, with utmost pride.

Judy D. Olian

Mace and Medallion

The mace — a symbol of authority — has antecedents in both Roman and Medieval history. The Roman mace (fasces) was carried by a lictor before the chief magistrate of the city, as well as before the legions. During the Middle Ages, the mace (mateola), a weapon of war, became first a symbol of victory and then a symbol of authority. The mace emblazoned with the Great Seal of England became a symbol of authority in Parliament by the end of the 13th century. It is this form of the mace that was the prototype of those symbols of authority, not only of legislative bodies, but also of cities and universities.

In 1246, following some 20 years of strife, the University of Paris was finally conceded the right to its own common seal. Since then, the use of the seal engraved on the mace has come to symbolize the authority of the academic community. In July 2000, Quinnipiac commissioned the noted sculptor Robert Meyer of Westport, Connecticut, to design and execute a new mace for Quinnipiac University. Cast in bronze, the mace incorporates elements of the university seal.

The medallion (medal of office), like the mace and the seal, is also a symbol of authority. It is possible that its roots may be traced back to the Roman “bulla” (a gold amulet of honor). The obverse of the medallion shows the seal of the office the wearer holds — in our case, the seal of the university. Not infrequently, the reverse would show the personal seal or coat of arms of the bearer. Since the High Middle Ages, the medallion has been worn by such officials as the chancellors of England, mayors of cities, and rectors of universities, and came to signify the high personal position such figures occupied in their respective governments. During the Renaissance, medallion design reached unique artistic heights, and in certain portraits the medallion was given particular prominence. The medallion is worn by the university’s president. The Quinnipiac medal showcases the university seal, sculpted in relief and cast in bronze.

Download the program (PDF)

Quinnipiac University conferred 3,141 degrees during six Commencement ceremonies May 12-14 at the M&T Bank Arena and the Mount Carmel Campus.

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