Dear Fellow Alumni:

The start of the fall semester brings change to the Commerce Alumni Association. After three years as president, Howard Engle has stepped down and I have been elected in his place. All alumni, as well as all members of the Commerce Board and Commerce Administration, owe Howard a great debt of gratitude for the superb job he has done, his dedication, and his loyalty. Howard brought his considerable talents, enthusiasm, and energy to guiding the Commerce Alumni Association. He has continued our successful, long-standing programs and instituted several new ones. I look forward to carrying on in his tradition. Thank you Howard!!

I write to you with a special invitation to step up your involvement with your alma mater. Plans for the coming semester are already well underway. There are many things you can do. Start by joining us at the Commerce Homecoming Tent Party on October 17, when Illinois takes on Wisconsin. We expect to be in our usual location just west of the stadium. Ours will be the large tent with the festive music of Medicare 7, 8, or 9 Dixieland Jazz Band beckoning you inside.

When you come to future Tent Parties, you'll be able to sport a Commerce t-shirt or sweat shirt. After many months of planning, the alumni board is very close to bringing you a line of Commerce merchandise. We expect to have merchandise information at the Tent Party. Over the years the college has received numerous requests for college merchandise. Now we are about to make it available. We hope to see a lot of you proudly displaying the Commerce logo.

Our long-awaited mentoring program is also very close to being introduced through a pilot program. By the time you read this newsletter we expect the program to be underway. In the initial phase, we will pair mentors with alumni who have reached a stage in their career where they want to re-examine career opportunities. By the next newsletter, we should be able to report initial reactions.

I hope to hear from a great many of you during the course of the year. Let me or other board members know what kinds of events you would like to see your organization sponsor. What other activities would you like to participate in? Would you be interested in becoming a board member? Please remember that we are here to serve you and to strengthen the bond you feel with the University of Illinois and the College of Commerce. I am very excited about becoming president of this prestigious body of alumni. In the coming year, I hope to meet with a great many of you at our events and on campus.

Warmest regards,

John Lassiter
President, Commerce Alumni Association

P.S. Check out our home page to keep updated on Commerce alumni events and activities. You will find us at