The American Bankers Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking recognized 155 graduates today, awarding Stonier diplomas and Wharton leadership certificates. ABA Chair-Elect James Edwards, CEO of United Bank in Griffin, Georgia, delivered the keynote address for the online graduation ceremony. Edwards addressed the challenges currently facing the nation—from the coronavirus pandemic to the killing of George Floyd and other recent instances of racial injustice that have taken place—emphasizing to graduates that “crises are where leaders are born.”
“Times like these are unnerving, of course, and they don’t come with ready-made solutions,” Edwards said. “But by completing this program and courses on topics like innovative leadership, leading change, emotional intelligence and unconscious bias, you have gained a powerful set of skills that can be called upon when challenges are great.”
This year, Stonier held a virtual program for the first time in its 85-year history, with 266 students attending six days of online classes, and representing banks of all sizes and geographies, various regulatory agencies and international organizations. Stonier’s intensive education program complements extension projects throughout the year. The three-year program focuses on preparing future industry leaders with curriculum covering a variety of topics including capital planning, enterprise risk management, marketing strategy and technology and innovation.