A digital special section of | Subscribe

Susan Tjarksen

Susan Tjarksen

Managing director | Cushman & Wakefield | Class of 1982

Gies Business Alumni Association Board member Susan Tjarksen’s Illini experience, summed up in eight scenes:

1. “Breaking a finger in an overly competitive coed flag football game. We won.”

2. “Painting my face green to be the Wicked Witch of the West for a Gamma Phi Beta sorority rush party.”

3. “Drinking warm beer for the first time at Murphy’s while watching Irish football on TV — with no understanding of the rules, then or now.”

4. “Participating in a student-led discussion with a U.S. presidential candidate at the Auditorium.”

5. “Stealing the Northwestern flag from Zuppke Field  when the Illini played the Wildcats. My sister went to Northwestern.”

6. “Pulling an all-nighter in the Student Union praying that I would pass statistics through osmosis as I fell asleep face down on the open book and missed the first 10 minutes of the final.”

7. “Singing at the top of my lungs and dancing on chairs at an Earth, Wind and Fire concert at Assembly Hall.”

8. “Playing quarters at Kam’s barefoot as I didn’t want to ruin my new interviewing shoes.

“These are just snapshots of my time on campus while finding a home and lifelong friends at Gamma Phi Beta, learning to think critically in philosophy classes, defining loyalty through many years of many bad football teams by attending every home game and becoming a proud alumna grateful for all of the opportunities my undergraduate years and degree have provided me,” says the Class of ’82 finance grad, managing director of multifamily capital markets at Cushman & Wakefield of Chicago.