As the son of the university’s longest-serving president, a nine-year member of its faculty and a 1990 Ph.D. graduate, David Ikenberry’s influential Illini list can’t possibly be whittled down to one name.
So here are three (non-relatives) from the one-time Gies College of Business professor/assistant dean:
1. Former finance department chair Chuck Linke.
“Chuck was a wonderful leader who not only reshaped the finance department in the 1980s, but was open to mentoring me in the early years of my Ph.D. For reasons I don’t recall, I seemed to ‘bump’ into him regularly and he often had a helpful nugget of advice.
“It was uncanny how often this seemed to occur. To this day, I still benefit from some of those conversations.”
2. Former finance professor Josef Lakonishok.
“Josef arrived from Cornell the year after I arrived to start my degree work. Chuck Linke assigned me to work with Josef and that relationship changed my professional life forever.
“Through Josef, I learned a tremendous amount about my academic discipline and how to succeed. Josef is now retired from UIUC, but together we worked on several projects which gained success in academic publications.”
3. Former Gies College of Business Dean Avijit Ghosh.
“When I returned to UIUC in 2002, there were many others that played important roles in my career development. This includes Avijit, who was then dean of the College of Business.
“I was fortunate to work with him while chair of the finance department. In that role, we ended up in numerous meetings, sometimes while driving across Illinois for one reason or another, and thus had the opportunity to discuss a wide array of issues.
“I learned quite a bit about academic leadership during those conversations. Avijit continues to serve UI today and the university, no doubt, truly benefits from his service.”