Black '76 Speaks at School of Business Commencement

School of Business Associate Dean Hany Shawky, School of Business Dean Donald Siegel, guest speaker Jeff Black '76, Vice Chairman at Deloitte, and student speaker Frank Peluso '13.


This spring 300 undergraduates in business and accounting became the alumni of the Class of 2013. Before they collected their sheepskins, the students listened to encouraging words from alumnus Jeff Black ’76, School of Business Dean Don Siegel and graduating senior Frank Peluso.

Black told the graduating seniors that learning does not end when you leave college.  He said, “My resume says Vice Chairman at Deloitte, CPA, and B.S. UAlbany.  The CPA certificate is 35 years old; the diploma, 37.  With everything that has changed over my career, and I mean everything, being a part of a learning organization has been an imperative to whatever success I’ve enjoyed.” Using the iPod as an example, Black reminded students that whatever they are doing now, they should expect to be doing something very different five years from now. He advised the graduates to “go forth and download.”

Dean Siegel declared that it was a banner year for the School of Business, noting in particular that U.S. News ranked the school number one in the U.S. for job placement.  He added, "For the first time in the history of the school, we were ranked in the top 100 by U.S. News and World Report.  Our ranking, at #86 in the U.S., places us above many elite institutions and much larger state universities.  We were ranked ahead of Stony Brook, Rutgers, U-Mass, and RPI, and just below arch rivals Buffalo, Binghamton, and Syracuse.  I am confident that we will overtake them.”

Frank Peluso ’13, who graduated with a dual School of Business degree: accounting and business, in the demanding Financial Analyst Honors Program, and who started his School of Business career four years ago as a member of the Direct Admit program and who served as president of Albany Business Leaders Emerging during his time at UAlbany, spoke as the student representative. Peluso found a similarity with Black.  He noted that both of them were the first in their respective families to graduate from college. Peluso said, “Coming from a similar background as Jeff, I will be, well I guess I am now, the first college graduate of my family, and I will strive to be the role model to future students that he is to me.”

Black graduated from the University at Albany with a degree in accounting and often notes that it is the only degree on his résumé. He is a member of the University at Albany Foundation, the SUNY Research Foundation Board and the School of Business Dean’s Advisory Board. In 1999, Black was awarded the Excellence in Alumni Service by the Alumni Association.

The Speakers

Left: Alumnus Jeff Black '76,Vice Chairman, Deloitte. Right: School of Business Dean Donald Siegel.

Left: School of Business Associate Dean Hany Shawky. Right: Graduating senior Frank Peluso '13.

The Class of 2013

From left to right: Cara Veneziano '13, Kara Gagliardo '13, Desiree Malhado '13, Rachel Galgan '13, and Kelly Cawley '13.

Left: Business grads Fransheska Schwartz_ '13 and Katy Mueller '13, both graduated with concentrations in marketing. Right: Accounting grads Jeffrey Spiletic '13 and Kevin Spiletic '13.

School of Business student commencement speakers from 2012 and 2013: Frank Peluso '13, who starts work at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the fall  with Matt Russo '12, J.D. Candidate at Michigan State University College of Law. Peluso and Russo became friends as members and then officers of the Presidential Honor Society.