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5 Sep 2018

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Question about English (US)

What does
"Spearheaded byTony Haitao Cui, the Minneapolis doctorate program only produced its inaugural class of graduates in May of this year. "
mean?
Especially "only produced its inaugural class of graduates"??

Context>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
But the overarching driver may be a hunger to learn how to coax their Chinese companies into a new economic era. The country’s businesses -- especially those in tech -- are increasingly sending their most promising graduates in unprecedented volumes for further study to learn how Western businesses use technology to deal with economic upheaval.

Spearheaded by seasoned academic, table-tennis enthusiast and Chinese citizen Tony Haitao Cui, the Minneapolis doctorate program only produced its inaugural class of graduates in May of this year. A news report posted by Kweichow Moutai showed its executive manager Cai Fangxin getting his certificate from Carlson School of Management dean Sri Zaheer. Other graduates onstage that day included Chen Jianhua, chairman of Hengli Group Co. and Wu Xiaoli, deputy-director of information for Phoenix Media Investment. All are considered business elite.

“Carlson is known to transform students,” Ant Financial Chairman Eric Jing, a Carlson grad, said in a commencement speech to the class of 2017. “I discovered a lot here. A wealth of knowledge, a global perspective and a desire to build more bridges between Carlson and China.”

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