Monster.com founder Jeffrey Taylor, speaking at Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School graduate student commencement, had the graduates, families and friends cheering “I Believe,” “We Rock,” and “Hallelujah” during morning ceremonies on Saturday, May 19, at the Westin Copley Place Hotel.
In an entertaining and interactive address, Taylor told the graduates “I’ve had responsibility and I’ve been assertive and open-minded, but I’ve always remembered to have fun.”
He engaged the audience in a call-and-response while sharing his ideas for success with the graduates.
Using humor and anecdotes, Taylor pointed to the “four F's” - fear, failure, friends, and family that are his personal guidelines. “If you can attack your fears and you can focus on the possibility of succeeding instead of failure, I think that you could change the trajectory of your world,” he said.
“If you’re not nervous at any point in your life, you have to push harder,” he added.
Taylor told the graduates “the new economy needs your help.” He acknowledged the difficult job market but not “for the people who decide it’s not difficult.”
“There are no excuses for you,” Taylor said. He urged the graduates to “work harder” than their defined job descriptions. “You’re the CEO of your own life,” he said.
Taylor challenged the graduates to focus on goals, set priorities, and have ideas. “The closest distance between two points…is a big idea,” he said.
“Pay attention to your dreams,” Taylor advised the graduates, telling how while he was sleeping, he dreamed about a monster board, which led to the online job search board Monster.com. “Three patents and the experience of a lifetime,” he said.
Suffolk University awarded Taylor an honorary Doctor of Commerce degree at Saturday’s Commencement ceremonies.
As the founder of Monster.com, Taylor changed the way employers and job seekers connect when his concept of a giant online job search board evolved into a globally recognized brand for careers. He later founded three sites for older adults: Eons.com which connects adults in an online community; Meetcha.com, a social dating site; and Tributes.com, a national website for obituary and service information.
Taylor serves on the board of the Berklee College of Music and is a board member of Boston's Citi Performing Arts Center/Wang Theatre. He is on the board of Year Up, where he acts as a mentor for high school students who don’t plan to go to college.
He also has worked for years in a jungle village in Guatemala, where he sponsored and built a road for the elementary school and a first-of-its-kind computer center. He also personally funds four teachers, in addition to operating expenses.
Taylor holds a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Commencement
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Newton, spoke to 280 master’s and doctoral degree candidates at the College of Arts and Sciences graduate student commencement ceremony Saturday afternoon, also at the Westin Copley Place Hotel. He received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.
Law School, Undergraduate Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 20
Alan D. Solomont, the U.S. Ambassador to Spain and Andorra, will speak to undergraduates, and the Hon. Fernande R.V. Duffly, who serves on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, will speak to Law School graduates as more than 1,800 students receive degrees at Suffolk University commencement exercises on May 20.
Duffly will speak at the Law School ceremonies, which will take place beginning at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at the Bank of America Pavilion at 290 Northern Ave. on Boston’s waterfront.
Solomont will speak at the undergraduate commencement, which will begin at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, also at the Bank of America Pavilion.
In addition to honoring Taylor and Frank, the Sawyer Business School and College of Arts and Sciences will award the following honorary degrees:
•Ambassador to Spain and Andorra Alan D. Solomont, honorary Doctor of Public Administration
•Dr. Augustus A. White III, orthopedic surgeon, professor of orthopedic surgery and the Ellen and Melvin Gordon Professor of Medical Education, at Harvard Medical School, honorary Doctor of Science
The Law School will award the following honorary degrees:
•The Hon. Fernande R.V. Duffly, associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court, honorary Doctor of Laws
•Sarah M. Buel, clinical professor and director of the Diane Halle Center for Family Justice at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, honorary Doctor of Laws
•College of Arts and Sciences bachelor’s degree candidates: 789
•College master’s degree and doctoral candidates: 280
•Sawyer Business School bachelor’s degree candidates: 546
•Business School master’s degree candidates: 399
•Law School to confer 475 juris doctor, 35 master of laws degrees