Graduation

ATTENDANCE AT COMMERCE CONVOCATION HAS GROWN SO LARGE THAT FOR THE LAST WOR YEARS THE MAY CONVOCATION CEREMONY HAS BEEN DIVIDED IN TWO, TO ACCOMMODATE ALL THE FRIENDS AND RELATIONS WHO WANT TO ATTEND.

Although Huff Hall can seat over 4,000 persons and the graduating class (undergraduates and graduate students) numbers a steady 900, year by year the number of students participating in the ceremony has grown and so has our audience. Since the only larger places on campus are Assembly Hall (not available) and Memorial Stadium (the 80,000 plus capacity might dwarf us), we will continue the split schedule as long as the number dictate.

On May 13, 1995, Commerce graduated in Accountancy and Economics marched at 12:30 pm and Finance and Business Administration graduate marched at 4:00 pm. A reception was held outside Huff Hall following each ceremony.

Graduates and their families were welcomed by Howard Thomas, dean of the college, and Fred Neumann, associate dean for academic affairs. John Rozinsky, vice president of Monetta Financial Services and president of the Commerce Alumni Association, spoke on behalf of the association, and Thomas H. Cartwright, incoming vice president of the association, read the list of honors. The quest speaker was Douglas C. Mills, chairman of First Busey Corporation.

Two students, one at each ceremony, won a competition to represent their class at graduation. They were Robin Pritts, an accountancy major from Bloomington, and Michael Nicholus, a marketing major from River Grove.

Doug Mills gave a rousing speech -- a recipe for success in business and life. Despite constant change, there are some concepts that never change, Mills told the capacity crowd. If you live by these principles, success will follow. He illustrated his points with four parables. The message was direct and memorable.

Doug Mills (BS '62 Marketing) bought controlling interest in Busy First National Bank in 1971. He was 31 years old. First Busey has assets of $730 million, owns two banks, and a trust asset management subsidiary. Busey Bank also has a full-service broker-dealer subsidiary.

While at Illinois, Doug played basketball, baseball, and football, winning six Varsity "I" letters. He was select U of I Outstanding Athlete his senior year.

In 1990 Doug and his wife Linda established the Busey-Mills Community foundation to support actives in communities served by the Busey organization. Doug is a member of several professional and civic organizations, including the college's Business Advisory Council and the President's Council

ROBIN PRITTS, accountancy major, echoing some of Doug Mills' thoughts, spoke about the importance of having goals and the willingness to find the right path to reach those goals. This talk had very special meaning fro Robin. When he was twelve, his school district wanted to place him in special education classes because of his physical disabilities. They thought he would be unable to keep up in regular classes. Robin's parents knew better. They fought the system and won, and on graduation day, May 13, 1995, Robin proudly addressed his fellow graduates, assembled families and friends, faculty and college administrators. The path Robin took to his goals was his own, but the goals and achievements were shared by many of his fellow students. In early May he sat for the CPA examination and on this day he received a bachelor's degree in accountancy from the University of Illinois.

Robin succeeded in the face of great odds. His message to all was to never be deterred from your goals. Fight for what you want. As he ended his speech with a simple "Thanks you Mom and Dad," there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

MICHAEL NICHOLUS, a marketing major, spoke at the 4:00 pm ceremony. Mike said that when he first came to the University of Illinois he had lots of dreams-big and small. When he came to the big U, Mike recalled, he and a lot of other entering freshmen thought they already knew what they needed to know. The four years at college would bring all that knowledge together, "like putting in the last four pieces of a jigsaw puzzle," he reinised. At the end of your years he found himself a lot wiser. He said that recently he finally realized that he "didn't even know the questions." What is really important, he found out, is asking questions, not providing answers. So, after four years at the university, he believes he and his fellow graduates are ready to go "out there." For Mike "out there" is a job at Arthur Andersen & Co., in specialty consulting. For his fellow graduates, its a job with other companies or graduate school. But whatever the choice, he feels that "Given roots by my parents and wings from my friends and instructors I leave to find more answers and more questions."

Congratulations to all the graduates and their families!


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