Towards the end of each academic year, hardly a day goes by when we are not brought face to face with a raft of accomplishments on the part of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. This is the season of awards banquets — hosted at the campus and college levels and by individual organizations — where the extraordinary performances of the people who make this university and college such a great institution are recognized. It is also the season of another ceremony, graduation — one of life's important milestones. With diplomas in hand, our students are ready and eager to enter the business world and make their mark. This is indeed a time for celebration. It has also become a time for reflection, a time to take stock of the riches this college possesses, in the form of superb students, outstanding faculty, and generous, loyal, and successful alumni.

A large part of this publication is devoted to recording these high achievements. The stories told here clearly illustrate a claim we make with great frequency — that the college is blessed with excellent, high-achieving students and faculty. The college has three major arenas for recognizing the outstanding academic performance of our students, the extraordinary and innovative teaching of our faculty, the exceptional performance of our professional and non-academic staff, and the outstanding service and superb business success of our alumni. They are: the Spring Luncheon, sponsored by the Commerce Alumni Association, where outstanding teaching, alumni achievement, and service to the college are recognized; the Awards Banquet, organized by the Council of Presidents with the help of the Office of Alumni and External Affairs, where all students, faculty, staff, and alumni who receive college or campus or national awards are recognized; and the Commerce Convocation ceremonies, for the MBA programs and for all other programs — undergraduate, accounting master's, inter-national master's, and doctoral degrees.

We know that our students are bright, amongst the best in the university. We experience their talent firsthand in the classroom and when we work with them in extracurricular activities. Their ingenuity, quickness, energy, enthusiasm, and sense of responsibility never cease to amaze and impress me. We are understandably proud of them and the campus shares our view. Although this college enrolls only 11 percent of the student body, over 30 percent of the winners of the campus-wide "Senior 100 Honorary" are CBA students.

The outstanding students and faculty in the college jointly produce our third greatest asset — our alumni. We are fortunate to have a large, loyal, involved alumni group who contribute to the success and reputation of this college by their achievements, as illustrated by the alumni profiles offered in this issue, and also by their generosity. Many of you make tangible contributions to us — you come to campus and share your knowledge, you enhance the reputation of the college and university with your success, and many of you, who can, share your good fortune with future generations of students and faculty in the form of scholarships, fellowships, endowed chairs, and named professorships.

In closing, I want to say how much I always enjoy being a part of the college ceremonies that recognize such high achievement. In fact, it's one of the things I will miss most when I leave Illinois, at the end of the upcoming academic year to take up the deanship at Warwick Business School in England. Making the decision to leave the college was very difficult for me. I truly love this college and job and very much appreciate its strong influence on my life. I will write more extensively about my move to Warwick in the next issue of InSight, but I wanted to share this late-breaking news with you as soon as possible. I hope that I will have the opportunity to see a great many of you before I leave next summer. The College of Commerce is a wonderful institution which will always have a special place in my heart.

With warmest regards,


Howard Thomas, Dean and James F. Towey
Distinguished Professor of Strategic Management