It's been a hectic two days at the College, rounding off a fairly frantic week. On Friday we had a day-long series of meetings with the International Network, whereby the managers from the associate partners and subsidiary offices spread across the world come to Henley. They come in part for the graduation, and in part to catch up with the formal news and informal gossip from the preceding six months.
In my parallel-universe-Henley, this event is run along the lines of a mafia convention. The real-world reality is somewhat more mundane, but is still imbued with a whiff of 'Sopranos' family tension in that the associates operate and deliver the Henley MBA in a very diverse set of markets, and it would be fruitless to believe that a one-size fits all mentality will work. This leads to some interesting debates.
The one thing that unites them all is the same emotional attachment to Henley as an institution that I have alluded to in previous posts, especially those which refer to the Graduation ceremony. For me, 2008 marks a new chapter in that at today's Graduation it was my name in the printed programme indicated to read out the names. This fact, exacerbated by the tongue-twisting complexity of some of the names of those collecting their diplomas, has had me in in a nervous funk all week. But that angst was wiped clean the moment I stood up to ask the Principal to admit the graduands named in the programme to the College. Only 8 years ago, it had been me lining up to have my name read out, my hand shaken and my picture taken on the stage. Now I was running that programme. I have to admit; I felt very honoured, and very pleased for every one of the new MBAs. For now, I wear the same green gown as they do, and that is another source of pride. I hope that, eventually, I will don (pun probably intended) the robes of my own PhD.