An unexpected highlight capping off the May 2022 installment of the Center for the Management of IT’s Knowledge ∞ Continuum came as McIntire Professor Ryan Nelson was surprised with the 16th Annual Faculty Recognition Award from The Order of the Claw & Dagger.
Nelson has been a beloved leader and an invaluable figure in the lives of students, alumni, and his colleagues at the University for years. In late 2021, he was also honored with a fundraising effort spearheaded by former faculty and McIntire alumni in recognition of CMIT’s 30-year anniversary and the work he’s done to launch and sustain the Center over three decades, a gift that brought the Center’s endowment over the $1 million milestone.
The Order of the Claw & Dagger, one of the University’s many secret societies, was founded in 2006. According to an unnamed McIntire alumnus quoted for a UVA Magazine article, the group aims to unite individuals who “best exemplify [the Commerce School’s] founding tenants of Honor, Excellence and Humility. Members of The Order serve as Stewards of the McIntire School of Commerce, defending its interests, contributing resources, and furthering its standing. Members are tapped as students and continue as alumni.”
To mark the occasion, a joyous group of McIntire faculty and staff entered Room 123 at Rouss & Robertson Halls before the Knowledge Continuum lunch break to bestow Nelson with the prestigious honor. Commerce School Associate Dean and Professor Ryan Wright presented the award and read its accompanying letter to Nelson, reproduced in full below:
“The Order of Claw & Dagger is dedicated to the betterment of the McIntire School of Commerce, its students, and its alumni in all of their endeavors. For its 16th Annual Faculty Recognition Award, The Order would like to recognize Professor R. Ryan Nelson. The McIntire Community values Professor Nelson’s strong commitment to its students. From your unbridled enthusiasm in the classroom to the unparalleled amount of time that you devote to your students outside of it, your contributions to McIntire are truly exceptional. Students will be the first to praise your vibrant, polished, and impactful style of teaching that engages students while simultaneously inspiring their intellectual curiosity. Outside of the undergraduate classroom, your 30 years of work leading the Center for IT management has kept McIntire and its alums at the forefront of technology and commerce. Perhaps most importantly, you are a champion of students. Your love of Jimmy Buffett, stories of traveling with [former] Dean Zeithaml, and constant devotion to the betterment of McIntire make you approachable and leave students feeling deeply connected with you. The Order admires your drive to know your students for who they are as people, rather than just names on a class roster. Your former and current students rave about your zeal for life, contagious laugh, and genuine care for your students and McIntire as a whole. The Order wants to congratulate you on the impact you have had on McIntire and thank you for your hard work in making the McIntire School of Commerce the thriving community it is today.”
Though the Claw & Dagger Faculty Recognition Award is traditionally presented during Final Exercises, Nelson was honored in advance of UVA commencement celebrations, as he was unable to attend—for the first time in more than 20 years.
Nelson’s award came on the heels of three other accolades: CMIT’s annual IT Leadership Award was presented to Stephanie Mango (McIntire ’94, M.S. in MIS ’95), President of CGI Federal; the Emerging Leader in IT Award went to Emily Kruse (McIntire ’22), incoming MPhil of Development Studies candidate at Trinity College at the University of Cambridge; and Jonathan Fry and Elise Kain, both members of the M.S. in MIT Class of ’21, earned the M.S. in MIT Award for Excellence in Leadership and Technology.
Click here to read about the rest of the innovative daylong Knowledge ∞ Continuum executive residency on May 13 that focused on digital transformation and featured executive guest speakers—including officers from Capital One, CarMax, and The Washington Post—as well as a discussion on game-changing tech innovations in AI, augmented reality, and more.