Baker graduates get message
The former president and chief executive officer of the Kansas City Board of Trade told Baker University graduates that recent scandals in the business world underscored the importance of integrity and trustworthiness among future leaders.
Speaking at Baker's winter commencement on Sunday at Collins Sports and Convention Center in Baldwin City, Michael Braude said controversies on Wall Street and within corporations such as Enron and WorldCom had eroded public trust and weakened the foundation of America's business community.
"Your generation must restore the confidence that has been lost," said Braude, who served with the Kansas City Board of Trade from 1984 to 2000.
Braude and Michael R. Zedek, rabbi emeritus at Temple B'Nai Jehudah in Kansas City, Mo., spoke during two separate ceremonies as more than 450 undergraduate, graduate and nursing students obtained their degrees during commencement exercises.
Zedek, senior rabbi at Temple B'Nai Jehudah from 1976 to 2000, also spoke to character issues by quoting a fellow clergyman in saying: "More important than the sermon the rabbi gives is the sermon the rabbi is."
"That's not just true of ministers or rabbis or university presidents or faculty," said Zedek, who joined the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati in 2000. "For all of us, more important than the sermon you give is the sermon you are."
Baker was listed as a top tier school in the Midwest in the annual college rankings released by U.S. News and World Report. The University was one of only two Kansas schools recognized in the top tier among Midwest colleges offering master's degrees.