THE GSB'S CENTENNIAL YEAR drew to a close in classic fashion on October 9 with the third annual black-tie Alumni Celebration. More than 1,100 alumni and guests filled a ballroom at Chicago’s Sheraton, making it the best-attended Alumni Celebration yet. Alumni from Panama, Japan, Brazil, the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Norway joined colleagues from around the United States for the event.

“We are truly a global community in every sense,” said Dean Robert S. Hamada as he thanked alumni for coming together to “mark the official closing of a sensational century with a sensational event.”

“You make me proud,” Hamada said. “Throughout it all, you have been the source and the impetus of the school’s drive to excel. Tonight we celebrate your achievements.”

The successes of GSB alumni were represented by the three recipients of the 1998 Distinguished Alumni Awards. Selection committee chairman Dennis Keller, ’68, took the stage to present the awards to Charles Bowsher, ’56, retired comptroller general of the U.S. General Accounting Office, who received the Distinguished Public Service Alumni Award; Joel M. Stern, ’64, managing partner of Stern Stewart & Co. and Distinguished Entrepreneurial Alumni Award recipient; and Jean C. Monty, ’70, president and chief operating officer of BCE Inc., who was honored with both the Distinguished Corporate Alumni Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award.

A highlight of the event was the opportunity to learn from and associate with scholars at the top of their field. In this year’s keynote address, Robert Fogel, Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor, posed the question “Can we afford longevity?” Examining the evolution of work, leisure, health, and earnings over the past century, the 1993 Nobel laureate concluded that “the crisis is not in a nation’s resources for providing extended retirement, improved health care, and extended education, but in the exceedingly clumsy system for financing these services.” In addition to theorizing that half the cost of retirement will be privatized by 2030, Fogel predicted that today’s growth industries–leisure time activities (including lifelong learning) and health care–will spark economic expansion just as agriculture and then manufacturing, transportation, and utilities did in the past.

In response to alumni requests, this year’s celebration continued after the address, with time to linger over drinks and socialize with friends new and old–all 1,100-plus.

DAA recipient Bowsher elicited applause when he noted the growth of the GSB since his days on campus in the 1950s. “When we’d gather, there would be no more than 20 people,” Bowsher said, “so it’s a real pleasure to see more than a thousand people here tonight.”

 


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