2002 Alumni Achievement Award Luncheon

Mark M. Besca, '81, Ernst & Young Partner Honored—Special Tribute to Ivan Fox, '54
"I am a child of Holocaust survivors, and the probability of me standing here after all that [my parents went through] I have counted to less than one percent. In other words I am a very, very lucky man to be here today." With these words Mark M. Besca (BBA '81), managing partner for Ernst & Young LLP's New York office, opened his remarks at the tenth Annual Lubin Alumni Achievement Award Luncheon.

Besca, who has maintained a strong bond with the Lubin School of Business since he graduated 21 years ago and serves on its Accounting Advisory Board, was honored on December 6, 2002, at the JPMorganChase's Executive Dining Room by over 300 colleagues, Lubin faculty, administrators, students, family, and friends for setting a high standard of achievement in the community, with his alma mater, and in the business world.

"Freedom meant a lot to our family. And the primary goal was for us to get educated. They sacrificed everything [to achieve that goal]. [My parents] are really the ones that should be celebrated today, so I'm giving this award to my mother," Besca said in reflecting on how far he had come. He began his career through the Pace co-op as an intern with Arthur Young in 1979. Today, he is Ernst & Young LLP's New York area industry leader for the Technology, Communications, and Entertainment Group.

Ivan Fox (left) and Mark Besca
Photograph by Jared Bernstein
As Managing Partner, Besca oversees the New York office's high growth assurance and tax divisions. As industry leader for the Technology, Communication, and Entertainment Group, he is responsible for industry-related strategy. He also serves multinational clients, including AOL/Time Warner, EMI Music, and the McGraw-Hill Companies. He frequently represents the firm in presentations and broadcasts, including the Emmy Awards.

Besca is a member of the Pace Board of Trustees and the President's 2006 Centennial Society, along with serving Lubin as a member of several important committees. In addition, he is a member of several professional organizations and is a participant of the New York City Partnership Fellows Program and an executive co-chair of the media and entertainment group of the United Jewish Appeal.

Special Tribute to a Beloved Teacher, Ivan Fox, '54
The tenth anniversary luncheon was also the occasion of a special tribute to Dr. Ivan Fox, '54, a dedicated law professor and alumnus, for his 43 years of service and commitment to the Lubin School. A respected leader in his field, Fox maintains a law practice in New York City, where he represents clients in the entertainment industry. He is a co-author of Anderson's Business Law and the Legal Environment—one of the most widely read law textbooks in the nation. Fox has published in several law reviews and presented papers at every Academy of Legal Studies in Business Conference since 1961. He is also a member of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business and serves as a liaison with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for the CPA exam.

"Revered by his students, he has received three outstanding teaching awards in recognition and appreciation for his abounding guidance," remarked Lubin's Dean Arthur L. Centonze. "We look forward to continuing our affiliation with one of the best and brightest business law scholars in the world. And let me add the most memorable faculty member in the eyes of our alumni," Centonze concluded.

Besca and Fox, whose friendship began as student and teacher some 25 years ago, brought a great deal of levity to the festivities. In his tribute to Fox, Besca joked, "Anyone that can wear a purple suit to class has to receive some honor." In his brief remarks, Fox joked with the audience and commented that he had probably been at Pace longer than any other faculty member and that his tenure had outlasted four presidents of the University.

Honoring Recent Alumni and Scholarship Awardees
John E. Boyd, '76, president and CEO of EUR Systems and the 2001-2002 chair of the Steering Committee, opened the luncheon by welcoming the guests. He then introduced Lubin Dean Arthur L. Centonze, who recognized the contributions made by recent alumni and awarded the alumni scholarship to Shal Chowdhury, '03, BBA Finance. The Lubin Alumni Scholarship is awarded annually to a student who demonstrates outstanding academic achievement, leadership potential, civic responsibility, and financial need. In addition to his classes, Chowdhury is an active student leader, who has served as student government treasurer, chair of the association's budget allocation committee and peer leader for the freshmen seminar class University 101. He is a past president of the Pace student chapter of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS), past vice-president and treasurer of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), and one of the founders of the Spring Banquet, which brings together students and alumni. He is a volunteer with UNICEF and will join Goldman Sachs upon graduation.

Dean Centonze also presented the Sixth Annual Recent Alumni Service Award. This award recognizes the professional accomplishments and contributions of Lubin's most recent graduates, their outstanding professional leadership, and service to the University, the School, and the community. Viewed as Lubin's next generation of leaders, this year's recipients were Joan M. Flanagan, '99 and Richard T. Nix, '99.

Flanagan, who earned her MBA in management from Lubin, is part of a financial planning team at MetLife, Wall Street Planning Associates, where she serves as a personal marketing assistant. She serves on several Pace and Lubin Alumni Committees, including the Board of Directors and the Recent Alumni Committee. She is also a frequent speaker and participant at student activities and alumni events.

Nix also received his MBA in management from Lubin in 1999. He is the executive vice president of 4G Data Systems, a computer company that provides services for organizations such as the McGraw Hill Companies, Time Magazine, and the United Nations. An active alumnus, he is involved in many alumni activities at the University, including serving on the Public Relations and Steering Committees and the Lubin Alumni Board.

Rousing Financial Success
This year's luncheon raised over $180,000 for student scholarships and continues to be the highlight of the fall semester for Lubin, with strong support from sponsors, alumni, and faculty. Ernst & Young was the 10th anniversary sponsor and JPMorganChase was the title sponsor for the tenth consecutive year. Tiffany & Co. provided the awards, and American International Group, Inc.; the Chubb Corporation; Deloitte & Touche, LLP; John A. Gerson, '69; Home Box Office; KPMG, LLP; MIM Corporation; the McGraw-Hill Companies; Verizon; and Music Warner Group all contributed to the success of this year's event.

The Eleventh Annual Lubin Alumni Luncheon will honor Michael Cangemi, president and CEO of Etienne Aigner, on December 5, 2003.