A student receives her hood at Fisher's 2023 Pre-Commencement ceremony.

The Max M. Fisher College of Business welcomed 1,839 new members into its family of alumni following the graduation of the Class of 2023.

Commencement weekend ceremonies were held to recognize the achievements of all of Fisher’s business graduates, beginning with the college’s Pre-Commencement event on May 6. The ceremony celebrated the achievements of graduates from four of Fisher’s master’s programs: Full-Time (60) and Working Professional MBA (62), Master of Accounting (56) and Specialized Master in Finance (42). Included in that group were more than 72 Double Buckeyes and students from 19 countries around the world.

Donna James, business leader, entrepreneur, philanthropist, public servant and patron of the arts, delivered the Pre-Commencement keynote to the 220 graduates. James, a corporate governance leader, shared her story of overcoming personal and professional challenges to become a recognized difference-maker in business and throughout the Columbus community.

Donna James takes a selfie at a reception celebrating her honorary doctorate in business administration.
Donna James (right) poses for a photo at a Fisher reception celebrating her honorary doctorate in business administration from Ohio State.

A day later, at Ohio State’s Commencement ceremony, James was honored with an honorary doctorate in business, an accomplishment celebrated at a special reception hosted at Fisher. In accepting the doctorate, James became the first Black individual to earn an honorary doctorate in business administration from Ohio State.

“I want to thank Donna for being part of this weekend’s festivities — and for everything she has done here at Fisher, Ohio State and throughout Columbus,” said Anil K. Makhija, dean and John W. Berry, Sr. Chair in Business. “She and her husband, Larry, exemplify the spirit, action and compassion that we strive to instill in every one of our students. Theirs is a story of servant leadership that has benefitted so many individuals and organizations throughout the region and around the country.”

2023 Commencement

Sunday’s Commencement ceremony at Ohio Stadium featured an address to all graduates from public interest attorney and best-selling author Bryan Stevenson, who wrote “Just Mercy.” Among the more than 12,000 graduates at the event were 1,611 undergraduate business students representing Fisher. Among the group of Business Buckeyes were:

  • graduates from Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands and Taiwan.
  • 17% percent of the graduating class were first-generation college students
  • graduates from 35 U.S. states
  • graduates from 65 of Ohio’s 88 counties

Fisher’s commencement season began April 15 with the graduation of its 2023 cohort of Executive MBA students. The event celebrated the completion of the academic journeys of 28 EMBA graduates.

“On behalf of the entire Fisher community, I wish all of our Class of 2023 graduates the very best as they take the next step as business professionals and leaders,” Makhija said. “I look forward to seeing how their hard work and dedication, refined here at Fisher as students, will propel them to success in business and in communities around the world!”