Dear Fellow Alumni:

It is with great pleasure that I write to you about the activities of the Commerce Alumni Association. This has been an exciting year to date. We have introduced several new programs and successfully completed ongoing ones.

A good time was had by all who came to Homecoming, despite the outcome of the game. Hey, all we can do is get better from here. At the top of my list for the spring is the Spring Luncheon, where we celebrate the achievements of our alumni, the loyalty of our friends, and the excellence of our teaching faculty. This year the Luncheon will be held on Friday, April 30, at the Palmer Hilton. Join us for the reception at 11:00 a.m., and lunch at noon. We are honored to have Robert Thomson, U.S. managing editor of the Financial Times, as the keynote speaker. A peripatetic journalist who for twenty years has had assignments around the globe, Mr. Thomson will share his thoughts on the five-year outlook for the global business environment. I urge you to come and bring a friend or, if possible, reserve a table and become a corporate sponsor.

After many months of planning, the Commerce merchandise project has finally been launched. The catalog of products was included in the college Annual Report, which you all should have received in March. I hope you will take the opportunity to place your order soon. Show your loyalty by sporting
a Commerce sweatshirt next time you visit campus. These items make great gifts. If you need more information, call the Commerce Alumni Office at 217-244-6669.

Under the heading of something new — early this year we were proud to co-sponsor the first Alumni Review Weekend for alumni of the Illinois MBA and EMBA programs. Held in Champaign at the end of January, this program was enthusiastically received by all participants. There were opportunities to network, socialize, attend a UI basketball game, and most importantly, brush up on your business knowledge. Participants were able to select four of eight scheduled seminars. The response was so enthusiastic that we have scheduled another Review Weekend for November 19-20. As an added bonus, the upcoming event will allow you to attend the final home football game of the season — against Northwestern.

And of course it's never too early to plan to attend next year's Homecoming Tent Party — October 16th — when Illinois takes on Minnesota.

Before closing I want to remind everyone about the hard work done on behalf of Commerce alumni by the Young Alumni Committee. This group has been extremely active (see Calendar), and we all owe them a vote of thanks for their loyalty and dedication. Through them, recent graduates of the college in the Chicago area are able to keep alive the ties that bind. In particular I want to acknowledge the work of Denise Maple, who has been co-chair of the committee since 1995 and serves as the liaison with the board. At the turn of the century, Denise will relinquish her position as co-chair of the committee. A 1990 finance graduate, Denise is currently vice president at ABN AMRO North America, Inc. Before that she was assistant vice president at LaSalle National Bank. Denise also earned an M.M. from Northwestern in 1996. Please join me in thanking her for her outstanding dedication and commitment to Commerce young alumni.

If I don't see you at the Spring Luncheon, there's always the Homecoming Tent Party.

Warmest regards,

John Lassiter
President, Commerce Alumni Association