Stella Zhang, Sunstone Management Partner, Gave Commencement Speech To UCI Business Graduates 

IRVINE, CA — June 20, 2024 — Stella Zhang, COO of American Lending Center, delivered the commencement address Monday, June 17, for the Paul Merage School of Business masters graduates at the University of California, Irvine. 

Zhang, is an alumna of the FEMBA program, receiving her degree in 2005. She urged the 2024 graduates to continue a life of learning as they go forward in the business world, while cultivating responsibility and gratitude – the guiding stars of her life. 

“As business school graduates, you are poised to assume positions of leadership and influence,” Zhang said. “Remember that true leadership is not about power or prestige, but about service and stewardship. It’s about using your knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on the world and leaving a legacy of integrity, compassion, and excellence.” 

 Zhang was born in China and arrived in the United States in 1997 after finishing college and graduate school in China. She worked for a law firm for 14 years before leaving to help grow American Lending Center, and later cofounding Sunstone Management, Inc., where she remains a partner. 

When ALC and Sunstone moved headquarters to Irvine, Zhang reconnected with the UCI business school, deciding to contribute to the annual Beall Center pitch competition. 

“Her generous gift to the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship ensures that our New Venture Competition, now aptly named the Stella Zhang New Venture Competition, will continue to foster innovation and entrepreneurship for years to come,” the university’s introduction says. “Stella’s journey from China to the U.S. embodies the transformative power of education and the unyielding spirit of a determined dreamer.” 

American Lending Center works with immigrants from China and elsewhere seeking residency in the United States, and Stella Zhang has said she is passionate about helping those people succeed. 

“Never stop learning,” Zhang said in conclusion. “May you go forth with courage and responsibility in your minds, gratitude in your hearts, and a commitment to making the world a better place for generations to come.”   

There are nearly 600 MBA graduates from the UCI Paul Merage School of Business this year. For more information about the school, go to

©Sunstone Management, Inc. 2024 

More About Sunstone Management 
Sunstone Management is a diversified private capital sponsor firm headquartered in Southern California. Identified by Financial Times as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row. In the latest Pitchbook rankings, Sunstone Management was #15 in the third quarter of 2023 nationally, and #18 in the fourth quarter.1 

  1. Rankings from Pitchbook Venture Monitor, Q3 and Q4. 

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