Kelley Honors Beloved Professor

The Kelley School of Business posted a blog entry Wednesday on the December dedication of a statue that honors a Kelley tradition few outside the school know about–but one that offers a revealing glimpse into the Kelley culture. The art piece in question? A pair of hands applauding.

One of Kelley’s beloved professors, Walt Blacconiere, passed away in 2007 from pancreatic cancer. This accounting prof was known for ending his classes with a round of applause–his way of expressing appreciation for the learning that had taken place that day and for the students’ efforts to grow intellectually. Students inevitably joined in too, acknowledging Blacconiere’s devotion to their learning.

After his death, MBA students and faculty adopted the clapping tradition at the end of each class as a way to remember Blacconiere as well as recognize the effort that both faculty and students put into teaching and learning. The tradition continues, even though the current MBA students only know of Blacconiere by reputation.

“We believe that learning is an exchange and a struggle. Students learn from the professors, but professors also learn. In every classroom, every day, growth and progress is made by all involved. Everyone gains from these exchanges, whether a tenured professor or a first-year MBA student,” writes Lura Forcum, the communications manager for the Kelley School of Business.

Reading about this unique Kelley tradition really gives you an idea of the culture at this school–one where collegiality is key.

(image credit: Kelley School of Business)

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