Like many of my fellow SPEA undergrads in the late ’70s, I migrated to SPEA after testing out a couple of other majors on campus. What stands out to me even after all of these years was the incredible vibrancy of the faculty and the sense that we were really doing something special. Once a SPEON, always a SPEON! To this day I remember with fondness such professors as Ted Miller, Richard Rubin, George Smerk, and George Von Furstenberg. And, who can forget the “unique” SPEA offices and classes at the Poplars Building? What other school on campus had their own pool and hotel? Although the ’70s were known for the age of apathy on campus, that was not the case in SPEA, as a very young faculty kept us constantly challenged and thinking of the future. It was a wonderful time to be on a college campus.
After leaving IU and SPEA, I earned an MBA in finance and have subsequently used both degrees to carve out a career in the financial services sector. Much of that time was spent focusing on the municipal bond sector where the SPEA training has been invaluable. Being able to speak and interact with public sector clients with the fundamental knowledge base that I gained from SPEA has proven to be especially valuable. Being able to give back to the community has also been important to me since I left IU and SPEA. I have devoted a considerable amount of my free time to the public school educational communities where I live in the northern suburbs of Chicago. I served as an elected school board member for ten years and later as steering committee and oversight committee member of our local high school district. It is in these pursuits where the SPEA education has been especially helpful.
I strongly encourage all SPEA alumni to come on back and re-engage with the school. Speaking to or mentoring undergraduate and graduate students keeps me young and engaged. Meeting the next generation of SPEA faculty has also made me feel confident that our children are in good hands going forward. I’m especially proud of the fact that my oldest son, Sean, chose to pursue degrees from SPEA and is working in local government. My youngest son, Zach will graduate this semester from IU Bloomington with two SPEA minors also. The apple …
I am extremely grateful and humbled about this award especially when I know of many others who are worthy recipients.