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Don Pruis, MBA ‘53

I had the privilege of grading for Prof Paton when I was an MBA student and of taking and passing the last Accounting prelim he gave before retiring. Among the many memories I have of him is at the time when the MBA program was being remodeled to distinguish it more clearly from the BBA program. Among the proposals was one that raised the average GPA for MBA candidates to graduate, accompanied by a proposal to introduce an A+ to the MBA course grading scale. Prof Paton was in the main lobby when he discovered that proposal in his mail.

His very loud reaction was “I know what an A is: that means perfect. Could someone please tell me what the h… an A+ is?”

George Vrechek, MBA '68

Times were different then.

In the mid-60s, the BBA program had limited enrollment; it only took one more year to get an MBA if you had a Michigan BBA. My best recollection is that there were two women in the BBA program. Two.

We listened intently to Professor Dixon, after all he wrote the book. We also got to hear occasionally from Professor Paton and connected with a Michigan of 40 years earlier. I admired how he rebelled against current accounting conventions. There is no such thing as treasury stock! Sure, go ahead and adjust prior year earnings. Do it right! We may have been a little light actually on what the Accounting Principles Board wanted us to do, but we knew what Paton and Dixon would do. Professor Dave Lewis had a popular class on business history, and he tried to keep those of us on the Monroe Street Journal out of trouble.

Companies clamored to interview students. You likely needed a suit and a hat for that first job. However, Viet Nam dominated all planning, and we started to rebel against authority, any kind of authority. You were leaving college in the prime of life with your pick of a good job, but with the certainty of being involved in some way in an extremely unpopular war.

Emily Deedler, BBA '95

Michigan Ross represents so many beginnings for me. Many friendships began or were strengthened here, of course. (See photo!) But, more importantly, this school inspired my lifelong interest in business and launched a career that I love. Though my memories of Ross begin with Davidson Hall, I am proud to see the way Ross has evolved since I graduated. And prouder still that I remain a part of this community.

Amanda Vogelsang, BBA '10

During my BBA program, I essentially lived in the old Kresge Library doing group work. Though I started right after the construction of the new Ross building, booking one of the new rooms in Ross was hyper competitive, so the tiny, windowless study rooms in Kresge were the only ones we could get. However, if my group was at Ross late enough, or on a weekend, sometimes we could practice presenting in the new classrooms, provided we could figure out the updated projector.

One of my frequent groupmates on those late nights was an old friend with whom I currently live now. Incidentally, we both have returned to Ross (though in different capacities) and experience it from new perspectives.

Julia Shi, BBA '13

I still remember my first day at Ross as a BBA student. I entered the building in shorts and flip flops, a sign of the enduring Michigan summer, and found myself surrounded not only by students who agreed, but also a larger number of students dressed in suits. I spent my entire first semester feeling like I did on that first day; both awestruck and intimidated to be at Ross.

Although my apprehension didn't immediately disappear, I wound up worrying less and less about how I lived up to "b-school standards" each year. I focused on the simple things like discovering what I enjoyed learning about and cultivating meaningful relationships with peers and faculty. It wasn't until senior year that I realized I held the power to be what I wanted at Ross, even if it goes against the grain.

My journey has come full circle as I now work at Ross, with one exception - what once was uncertainty about how I belonged has become confidence in what I have to offer. I'm glad my time here as a student empowered me to carve my own path.