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College Dedicates Zimmerman Center

Friends and colleagues of Vernon Zimmerman were in attendance on September 20 for the dedication of the Vernon Zimmerman Center for International Education and Research in Accounting.

The ceremony, hosted by Dean Avijit Ghosh, honored the long-time faculty member of the College's Accountancy Department who also served as dean for 15 years. Ghosh noted that those in attendance were "celebrating a man who was ahead of his time."


dignitaries at Zimmerman dedication

Photo: College of Business Dean Avijit Ghosh, Accountancy Department Head Ira Solomon, Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Nancy Cantor, and Associate Provost for International Affairs Earl Kellogg spoke at the ceremony.

In his remarks, Accountancy Department Head Ira Solomon cited several recent CIERA initiatives that continue Zimmerman's legacy and build on his vision. Among the programs is the KPMG/UIUC Business Measurement Research Program announced this spring. The active Visiting Scholars Program welcomes distinguished scholars from around the world to lecture and conduct research. During the summer of 2002, the center sponsored the Illinois International Accounting Summer Conference and two Research Roundtables on Business Measurement that were co-sponsored by KPMG.

The ceremony included Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Nancy Cantor who cited Zimmerman's prescient vision of what was needed to merge scholarly research with the university's instructional mission on an international level. Cantor was also struck by the uniform recollection of Zimmerman as a gentleman who went out of his way to welcome visitors to the campus.

Calling Zimmerman a generous spirit who was a mentor to both students and young faculty, Associate Provost for International Affairs Earl Kellogg recalled his days as a new assistant professor in the then-College of Agriculture. Crossing college boundaries was as easy for Zimmerman as was embracing representatives from other countries.

Joyce Zimmerman (at left in photo) accepted a plaque from Chancellor Cantor and Dean Ghosh commemorating the renaming of the CIERA program as the Vernon K. Zimmerman Center for International Education and Research in Accounting.





Art Wyatt, a member of the Department of Accountancy and a long-time friend of the honoree, took the assembled through a nostalgic presentation filled with images of the college and the CIERA program. Also included were photos of a young Zimmerman -- holder of three degrees from Illinois -- as an undergraduate student and as a child. Wyatt noted that the Center will remind members of the college community and the accountancy profession of the many contributions of Zimmerman.

The event concluded with a reception that was attended by colleagues and friends, representatives of local organizations and business on whose board Zimmerman sat, campus dignitaries, and University of Illinois Foundation representatives.

September 2002