Briloff receives University Medal at lecture named in his honor
By Steve Seepersaud
The Abraham J. Briloff Lecture on Accountability and Society, held March 29 at the Anderson Center, was historic – and not just because it marked the 25th anniversary of the School of Management's lecture series. The man for whom the series is named received the University Medal, making him the first honorary degree recipient to also receive the medal.
Briloff is the Presidential Professor of Accounting and Ethics at Binghamton University and Emanuel Saxe Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Bernard Baruch College. Over his long and distinguished career, he has been recognized as the ethical conscience of the accounting profession.
The University Medal is the highest honor bestowed by Binghamton University, given at the discretion of the president to recognize path-breaking achievements and true excellence in one's career accomplishments; a distinguished commitment to Binghamton University, higher education and the pursuit of knowledge; and a demonstrated commitment to the betterment of society through exceptional leadership and mentorship of the next generation.
"Binghamton University, I love you," a surprised Briloff said, just moments after receiving the medal from President Harvey Stenger. "I thank you so very much for bestowing this honor on me."
Ronald Strauss '76, MS '77, the event's featured speaker, said a return to more ethical behavior is necessary to create sustainable markets. After a long career as a senior executive for Merrill Lynch, Strauss entered the academic world, and teaches business at Montclair State University in New Jersey. He said a shift in values on Wall Street – moving from a customer-centric approach to one that used mortgage-backed securities as a means to achieve oversized profits – caused the markets to collapse.
"It took the financial crisis to show that the business model of these financial behemoths posed a threat to capitalism itself," Strauss said. "No amount of regulatory oversight will prevent another destabilizing crisis from occurring."
Stenger praised the School of Management for being a leader in advocating for higher ethics.
"This sets the School of Management apart from other business schools and helps us draw the best students in the nation," Stenger said.