Alumnus Brad Oltmanns’ remark set the tone for the College of Business’s Centennial Kickoff, held Friday, October 24. That night, alumni, faculty,
staff, and friends gathered in the Business Instructional Facility Atrium
Guests enjoyed hors d’oeurves and drinks, and were treated to a performance from The Other Guys, the University’s premiere men’s
a capella group. Throughout the evening, alumni also took part in videotaped interviews about their time at the College, what they think
the future holds for business, and their advice to current students.
Dean Larry DeBrock opened the celebration by introducing Provost Ilesanmi Adesida, who noted the College’s “100 years of achievement, leadership, and excellence” and the importance of alumni coming back to Illinois “to show our students what is possible.”
“As one of the oldest Colleges of Business, we look to you now for the solutions of today and tomorrow,” he addressed the crowd.
Next, accountancy senior Jasmine Joda, who served as president of the College’s Council of Presidents, highlighted the College’s commitment to fostering ethical behavior. “As students, cultivate our mission into a reality: We are ethical and professionally responsible students at the forefront of the next 100 years.”
Dean DeBrock discussed the College’s advancements over the course of a century, from penmanship and railroad administration courses to 3D printing and the advent of Coursera. He also remarked that College of Business alumni are made up of “CEOs, CFOs, educators, entrepreneurs, and politicians,” before introducing the evening’s featured speaker, Brad Oltmanns ’79, retired partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, who, along with his wife, Sue, recently established the Bradley J. and Susan M. Oltmanns Centennial Scholarship.
“Every time I visit campus,” Oltmanns began, “I reflect on what the College means to me and the opportunities it gave me.” He talked about pivotal moments during his time at Illinois, including meeting his wife as a freshman.
Oltmanns also discussed the very real challenge of students affording college, emphasizing the vital importance of student scholarships. He encouraged alumni to give back as well. “Establishing scholarships and supporting the College,” he remarked, “is one of the most fulfilling things we’ve ever done. Sue and I get letters from our scholarship recipients, thanking us for making college possible for them.”
The evening concluded with reconnecting and revelry; each guest was offered a commemorative bottle of champagne.
The College of Business Centennial celebration continues throughout 2015. Events will be taking place all over the US; visit business.illinois.edu/100/ for more information about celebrations in your area.