Degree Conferred: Give Us More Money.

My Quinnipiac University M.B.A. diploma arrived by its solitary self today. Its story is the culmination of a two and half year experience that was anything but instructive, educational, pleasant, or professional.

You’ve been warned, diehards. School loyalty is a foreign concept to me.

My diploma’s arrival was the first official indication from the Quinnipiac University School of Business that I had graduated. Despite two and a half years of emailing, calling, and threading my way through an army of bored undergraduates being paid minimum wage or less to guard the M.B.A. program director’s office, I never got clear answers as to where I was in the M.B.A. program. Even in the final few months before I graduated law school, I could not verify if I had completed my M.B.A. requirements directly, and I had to go through the law school’s registrar to get anyone to talk to me.

The diploma arrived in a drab cardboard envelope. That envelope contained a single piece of paper – the diploma itself. There was no letter, no frame, etc. I simply shrugged and threw the envelope on the stack of books, tools, gun accessories, and other garbage weighing down my coffee table.

If any of my thousands of dollars went to funding this culmination, they were well spent to ensure that I am quietly done with an institution that I do not respect and I do not want anything more to do with in my life.

When I entered law school, I brought an undergraduate business major and some significant consulting experience to the table. I figured that I could brush up the old resume and perhaps pick up a few new concepts with an M.B.A. that would help me later down the line. Oh, how naive is youth!

Quinnipiac’s M.B.A. program was basically a carbon-copy regurgitation of my undergraduate curriculum at Liberty University. It was such a carbon copy that I gave up reading and studying for my M.B.A. classes and just did the work – a minor inconvenience in my daily routine. For the record, I still delivered a long string of A’s. I didn’t study for the capstone exam covering all of the material taught in the M.B.A. curriculum. I passed it easily. In short, I spent two and a half years chasing three letters rather than any new knowledge.

I watched professors recognize that they had a class full of undergraduate business majors and go through the motions of teaching each lecture. Only two out of the 10-12 professors that I encountered cared about ensuring that their students grasped substance – Mohammad Elahee and Osman Kilic.

I watched professors realize that people didn’t belong in their class and subtly advise the entire class on how to cheat assessments to ensure that the class did not become a disaster. Knock if you dare, Quinnipiac. I am not inclined to, and most likely won’t, play ball. You won’t knock though because you’re complacent in the institutional rot.

I watched classrooms fill up with people who were also chasing three letters but didn’t want to be there. In other words, it was no Athens where students would demand more from their professors, and it was no boot camp where professors would brow-beat effort out of their students if they had to.

Mirth rarely finds me when anything having to do with Quinnipiac University interacts with my senses, but I couldn’t help but chuckle when I realized that I literally spent almost $40,000 to have an easier time of it in law school. The joint J.D./M.B.A. program shaved courses off my law degree because I was ostensibly receiving instruction in business as well. Instead, I was coasting through business school and using the extra time to bust my tail to contribute to journals – internal and external – and competition teams.

Perhaps, I am the fool on this side of the past three years. Perhaps, that’s precisely what the administrative conglomerate over at Quinnipiac intended. If so, I got willingly played for a sucker.

I digress. I can pay for my own diploma frame. While even my vanity wouldn’t compel me to display my M.B.A. as a symbol of elitism, the hoi polloi may be more willing to fork over Uncle Benjamins when they see it, and my people have had a long history of being unable to argue with green.

So I googled diploma frames, and I saw that every university and college in Connecticut sells them including Quinnipiac, which does not price its graduate diploma frames less than $200. That explains the $5 dollar cardboard envelope, said I.

I’ll buy the instrument of my vanity or shysterism somewhere else. When the alumni donation committee comes knocking, I have two words for them: Get Lost.

Let the chase begin.


Cameron L. Atkinson

Cameron Atkinson is a Christian, a published constitutional scholar, a trial and appellate lawyer, and a general hell-raiser. He has received national recognition for his victories in civil rights cases, especially in First Amendment cases. Attorney Atkinson stands out for his written advocacy, and he has taken the lead role in briefing cases to the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the Connecticut Supreme Court, the Connecticut Appellate Court, and multiple New York appellate courts. Attorney Atkinson has successfully represented clients facing criminal charges, including successfully arguing for the reversal of a sexual assault conviction before the Connecticut Supreme Court. He will accept requests for public speaking engagements on a case-by-case basis.

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2 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:


    • At least I have the guts to say what I think instead of hiding behind an anonymous tag. Too bad you don’t.

      What should I be grateful for? Spending $40,000 for three letters and acquiring no new knowledge? You need a reality check that the world isn’t a place of lovey-dovey courtesies even when people treat you like garbage.

      Get lost.

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