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Thursday, October 15, 2009 - Anniversary dinner honors SBA alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends

SBA alumni, faculty, staff and friends gathered in early October to reconnect, reminisce and celebrate the school's 40th anniversary at a campus dinner celebration. The dinner program recognized the evolution of the business program as it moves from being a school recognized regionally to one recognized at the national level.

Many who contributed to the SBA's success over the years were recognized by various speakers, including highlighting the substantial contributions SBA faculty members have received in the past three years alone.

The most moving instance occurred during the recognition of John Tower, who received a plaque honoring his service to the SBA in various roles over the last 40 years.

SBA Dean Mohan Tanniru noted that Tower's contribution and willingness to play whatever role the SBA needed has helped move the SBA forward with excellence over the decades. Whether he was professor, associate dean or dean, Tower led with passion.

Virinder Moudgil, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, later noted that Tower has "been a gentleman, courteous, sophisticated, thoughtful, selfless and visionary leader. It was my pleasure to have the opportunity to work with him ..." over the years.

Tower took time to express his gratitude at the dinner, but later noted, "I was just floored by the unexpected honor and reception I received. The plaque was very nice, but minor compared to the response of the assembled dinner guests.

"The chance to participate in the development of the SBA and see it grow from seven econ faculty into a school that has had such a profound impact on folks lives, has been most rewarding. The chance to work with such a great group of faculty, staff and administrators over the years has been a fine experience and also fun. The SBA students, of course, made for a pleasure in teaching and advising.

"Thank you for the great honor you bestowed upon me. It was a wonderful event and an honor I will always cherish."