|ON MAY 17, A BEAUTIFUL SPRING DAY, MORE THAN 3,500 PARENTS, FAMILY, AND FRIENDS WATCHED ABOUT 660 GRADUATE AND UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS OF THE COLLEGE OF COMMERCE CLASS OF '98 PARTICIPATE IN CONVOCATION CEREMONIES IN HUFF HALL.|
As has become the custom at CBA, two discrete ceremonies were held at Huff Hall to accommodate all the guests and graduates: Accountancy and Economics at 12:30 p.m. and Business Administration and Finance at 4:15. In between, the MBA ceremony took place at KCPA.
Guest speaker for the occasion was Edwin A. Scharlau II, chairman of the board, Busey Bank, First Busey Securities Inc., and First Busey Trust & Investment Co. Scharlau began working at Busey while still a CBA undergraduate. He became president in 1975, and chairman of the board in 1991. He is a member of the University of Illinois Foundation Board and the Presidents Council. He has also been an adjunct professor of finance at the college.
An Illinois native and alum of the college who holds three finance degrees (BS '66, MS '68, PhD '74), Scharlau urged those graduating to pursue more than the "bottom line," in a talk entitled "Your Responsibilities in the Roaring 2000s." He stressed that those who have been privileged to receive an education at a first-rate place such as Illinois have the responsibility to conduct their business life in a way that enhances the quality of life for their associates, community, shareholders, and customers. Reminiscing about his college, Scharlau observed that it was only after his own graduation that he came to recognize the true greatness of this university. He's not the only one to feel this way. He cited an article in Fortune magazine that referred to Illinois as "a grove of academe where chief executives sprout." Execs such as Jack Welch of G.E.; Jon Corzine of Goldman Sachs; and George Fisher of Eastman Kodak, were three mentioned by Fortune and Scharlau, who went on to say it is the responsibility of all alumni to add to the strength of this university so it will be as renowned in the future as it was in the past and is now. One key, he said, is alumni involvement.
Each year Commerce Council holds a competition to select the student speaker for each ceremony. Aaron Bishop, a senior in accountancy from Leroy, Illinois, was selected to address the accountancy/economics ceremony. Aaron has gone on to join Arthur Andersen, LLP in Chicago.
Paul Lape and Ed Scharlau
Aaron Bishop with accountancy head Gene Willis.
Paul R. Lape, a senior in finance from Chicago Ridge, Illinois, won the honor of speaking at the business administration/finance ceremony. Paul has taken a position with E.D.S. in Chicago.
Members of the MBA and Executive MBA programs participated in a ceremony at 2:30 p.m. in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Three hundred students graduated from the programs before an audience of approximately 1,000 guests. Ed Scharlau, who provided yeoman service this day, spoke not only at the two graduate/undergraduate ceremonies, but also at the MBA ceremony.