2019 University of Illinois LAS-Econ Commencement Speaker – Steven J. Thayer


On May 11, 2019, Steven Thayer delivered the commencement speech to over 600 graduates, parents, and faculty, at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Economics graduation ceremony.  Thayer is a 1988 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics. Thayer also attended DePaul University College of Law and Graduate School of Business and has a joint JD/MBA degree from DePaul.  Thayer’s Speech, entitled “We, Not Me” focused on recognizing the efforts of the people who contributed to your life, as well as encouraging everyone to help others going forward.  He also encouraged graduates to always be on the look-out for new opportunities especially when things are not going according to their plan, to expect the unexpected, and to always believe that life will work out, just not always the way you planned.

The Department of Economics now offers three degree programs, including degrees in Economics, Computer Science & Economics, and Econometrics & Quantitative Economics.  The Department hosts a variety of events every year including career preparation workshops, seminars and celebratory homecoming and awards ceremonies.  Thayer committed to getting more involved in helping the Department of Economics engage local alumni from the Chicago Area in connection with his role as a member of the Chicago Illini Leadership Council, a division of the University of Illinois Chancellor’s Office.

Click here for the full speech.

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