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College of Business Alumni Association Invitation
May 15, 2004

David Gilmartin is the president of the College of Business Alumni Association board. A 1984 graduate in Finance, Gilmartin is the Vice President of Legal for SBI Group Inc. His remarks, in this case to the MBA and Executive MBA graduates, are included with his permission.

On behalf of the College of Business Alumni Association, Congratulations graduates and welcome to the ranks of proud Business Alumni.

I am honored to be a part of this ceremony in which I participated as an undergraduate 20 years ago. As undergraduates, you received an education that established a solid foundation for your careers. As graduates from the College of Business MBA and Executive MBA programs, you have now put an exclamation point on your education, growing it to the pinnacle of professional business education. You have a competitive edge, now you must execute on it.

You need not meet that challenge alone. Sitting next to you here, sitting near you in the same company or sitting in an office across the city are other Business Alumni -- thousands of Business Alumni, creating an outstanding resource. The College Alumni Association focuses the energy of this extensive Alumni network.

I cannot overemphasize how important it is to remain connected to the College. It is this relationship with the College that has led me here, has supported my efforts since graduation and is the topic I want to share with you today. Whether a graduate of the undergraduate, MBA or EMBA programs, through the College's Alumni Association, the College continues to offer support through educational and networking activities. With your membership in the University Alumni Association, you are automatically a member of the College of Business Alumni Association.

You may take advantage of the benefits of membership in many ways. You may participate in the many activities sponsored by the College of Business Alumni Association. We sponsor the Annual Spring Luncheon held in Chicago at which we present the awards for outstanding teachers and alumni. This past year both the EMBA and MBAs sponsored tables at the Spring Luncheon. We sponsor the Homecoming Tent Party. This year we have plans for a speaker series and a family-oriented educational event, for example, at a museum. I am proud to note that the College of Business Alumni Association was the first constituent group to establish a Mathews Scholarship, in addition to the undergraduate and graduate scholarships we have established.

In addition, both the MBA and EMBA programs have active Alumni Boards in Chicago. These Boards sponsor a variety of networking and educational events featuring college faculty members and successful business executives. Programs have included topics such as "How to Make Yourself Indispensable to a Company." For those that would like to be more active, there are opportunities to join the Boards, and to help recruit and interview new students. The programs need your support to further enhance their reputation and to ensure their viability with top notch candidates.

You can learn more about the College of Business Alumni Association through alternating quarterly publications of Alumni News and Notes and Illinois Business Perspectives; through the monthly College of Business enewsletter and on the Alumni Office Website. The EMBA and MBA Web sites are linked from the Alumni Office Website. Each site lists upcoming events, allows you update your contact information and provides College Alumni Association contact information. Of course, you can visit or call the Alumni Office on campus directly. Make sure we have your contact information -- it will benefit you and us to remain connected.

The Alumni Association provides wonderful networking opportunities throughout your career. Participation in the Alumni Association is a way to continue the relationships you made in class and to establish new relationships. Whether for business or social reasons, you will find among the membership, others with similar interests, potential clients, potential resources.

Our reputation as a top tier business school derives directly from your successes. The College, the College Alumni Association, and your fellow alumni have a vested interest in your success and you in theirs. The Alumni Association exists for you, take advantage of it.

Again, my congratulations and best wishes for success.


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