|The academic year has
drawn to a close very successfully. Progress on the renovations of
Commerce West are moving forward and, although it's hard to believe it
when you walk the halls, the architects and engineers tell us that they
will complete the work on time. When the building is rededicated, as
Wohlers Hall, I hope many of you will find the time to come to campus to
see the "new" building.
The 40th Annual Spring Luncheon was a truly elegant affair. In the pages of this newsletter you will have the opportunity to read about the keynote speech and to meet the award winners. For those of you who were able to join us, these stories will provide an opportunity to relive the memories. For those who could not be present, they will serve to introduce you to the high achieving alumni, friends, and faculty who were honored at the event.
Also in these pages is an article about the convocation ceremonies in Huff Hall. The Commerce Alumni Association is pleased to be a part of this joyous celebration. Every student who walks across the stage receives a diploma cover paid for from your alumni dues. And, each student also receives a certificate welcoming them into the Illini family. As has been our tradition for several years, the Commerce Alumni Association hosts a reception between the two undergraduate ceremonies for the graduates and their families and friends. Graduation this year was on a glorious spring day, helping make the reception a huge success. To each of the graduates I wish to extend a hearty congratulations and a warm welcome. Please stay involved with your college. It's easy to do by attending some of the events we sponsor.
As we look forward to the coming school year, we are making plans to become more involved with undergraduate students while they are still on campus. One plan we are considering is opening a hospitality room for students during Reading Day — a place where they can go for refreshment (in the form of food and drink) and as a break from the grind of studying.
Although the summer is just beginning, it's not too early to think about making your plans to attend Homecoming. The Commerce Tent Party is set for October 14, when Illinois plays Iowa. I hope to see you there. I close with a sincere invitation to all of you to join us at our events, to join the Alumni Association, and to stay in touch with fellow alumni and the college. Visit campus when you can.
With warmest regards,
Patrick E. Rea
President, Commerce Alumni Association