In a festive ceremony, students and faculty members of the ZHAW School of Management and Law were recently inducted into the International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma.
Nine months ago, the ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) was accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, AACSB International. Owing to this, on 26 February 2016 the SML was able to install its own Collegiate Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS), an international honor society with a history spanning more than 100 years. BGS is exclusively aimed at business programs accredited by AACSB International and accepts only the best students of each of its member business schools.
Vast Network of Business Professionals
The SML Collegiate Chapter now has 199 Bachelor’s and 49 Master’s students, 38 faculty members, and two honorees. “You belong to the top 10 percent of our Bachelor’s or the top 20 percent of our Master’s students – this is a great achievement,” André Haelg, Dean of the ZHAW School of Management and Law and the Chapter’s President, told the inducted students. “You have become lifetime members of a vast network of some 750,000 carefully selected business professionals. Among them are notable members like Warren Buffett, Alan Greenspan, or David Rockefeller.”
Thomas Cleff, Dean of the Business School at Pforzheim University, served as the installing officer. “As universities of applied sciences in the German-speaking region, our two schools were first-movers in their respective countries by earning AACSB accreditation and forming a BGS chapter,” Cleff said. He pointed out that BGS should not be confused with a fraternity or sorority in the traditional sense, but had to be seen as an honor society promoting the values of honor, wisdom, and earnestness. He continued: “Beta Gamma Sigma membership is by invitation only. It is the highest recognition a business student anywhere in the world can achieve. It is a designation that can set you apart from the crowd.”
Strive for Excellence
The values BGS stands for are represented by the BGS key, which each new member received as a pin, together with a sash. A large-scale model of the key will be placed in Volkart Building on the main campus. Its shape inspired the design of the pedestal, which is made of Gotthard rock from the Leventina valley. This rock is associated with durability, and is therefore well-suited for the ideals of Beta Gamma Sigma. It will help to promote BGS and encourage future students and faculty to strive for excellence. As André Haelg put it: “However, the best ambassadors are our students, who carry the ideals of Beta Gamma Sigma along with them into the business community of Switzerland and beyond.”
A Strong BGS Chapter
Not only students but also members of the SML faculty were inducted in order to form a strong Collegiate Chapter. “The faculty is not only the brain but also the heart of a university”, André Haelg explained. “You will continue to play a key role in maintaining our high level of excellence.”
As former faculty members, Walter Schnüriger and John Rankin were both recognized with a Chapter Honoree membership. For nearly ten years, Walter Schnüriger had been Dean of the “Höhere Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungsschule” (HWV) from which the School of Management and Law emerged. Ten years ago, he brought back the idea of striving for AACSB accreditation from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in California. Until recently, John Rankin had been Deputy Director of International Relations at the SML. As an American, a specialist in international human resource management, and a talented communicator, he made an invaluable contribution to the accreditation process.
In future, the best Bachelor’s and Master’s students will continue to be invited to join Beta Gamma Sigma every year.
Contact: Daniel Ulrich, Chapter Managing Director