The MS Tax Program’s Convocation Ceremony for its 11th graduating class was held on May 1, 2016 at the University Club of Chicago. The 23 students graduating received a Master of Science in Taxation (MST) degree. Over 180 guests were in attendance for the celebration, including family members from as far away as Asia.
The commencement address was given by Ms. Norma J. Lauder, retired Director of the Illinois MS Tax Program, who spent her entire career in taxation. Prior to becoming the Director in 2005, she was the Senior Vice President, Director of Taxes for Discover Financial Services; Senior Vice President, Director of Taxes for Bank One (now part of JP Morgan Chase) and its predecessor companies; and a partner with Arthur Andersen.
Ms. Lauder looked back on her career and concluded that the accomplishments that had motivated, energized, and given her the most pride and personal satisfaction had all contained an element of inspiration — either helping in some way to inspire others or being inspired by others.
Although inspired by many people throughout her career, none had done so more than the students who had gone through the MS Tax Program. She gave examples of how their dedication and commitment to their classmates, work and career, families and the program had energized and inspired her over the years. She encouraged them to continue to inspire others by sharing the knowledge they had gained in the program and striving to be the person that people look to for help and guidance — the person everyone knows they can rely on.
She concluded by calling for the graduates to remember the role inspiration had played during their year in the program and to embrace it as part of their professional DNA. She promised that if they did, they would enrich the professional lives of others, as well as their own.
The other speakers included Dr. Jeffrey Brown, Dean of the College of Business, and graduating Class of 2016 students Susan Nakano, Jeffrey Kowalsky and Sorme Shamloo.
Prior Graduating Classes