Alumnus awarded for dedication to service

By Gus Bode

At a young age, Larry Bailey said he learned the importance of giving and sharing resources with others.

“Service to me is for the benefit of mankind, because when you do things for the human race as a whole, it makes things a lot more pleasant, a lot easier and it continues to make things grow for the next generation,” he said.

Bailey, an SIU alumnus with a Bachelor’s in accounting, will be awarded the Distinguished Service Award at the May 2012 commencement for his devotion to service. Bailey, a Washington D.C. native, graduated from SIUC in 1972.

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The award is reserved for those who contribute to the southern Illinois area, the state and the university, according to a university press release. The press release also stated both current and former university employees are eligible for the award, except in the year they retire.

Bailey is a founder of Blacks Interested in Business, a group based on raising awareness and opportunities for minorities in business. With more than 26 years of experience, he was the first African American tax partner at Peat Marwick and Coopers and Lybrand, which are now known as KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC.

Dennis Cradit, dean of the College of Business who works with the college’s external advisory board, said Bailey has always been an example for students, not only in the professional world but also in society.

“This is a nomination that went to a university-wide committee, and there was absolutely no question that this is the type of individual that is not only a role model for the College of Business, but a role model for the entire university,” he said.

After graduating from SIU, Bailey received his master’s in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of Wharton’s Alumni Association and has served on the Graduate Executive Board since 2001. He is a licensed certified public accountant in the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. He is also a member of the National Association of Black Accountants, an organization focused on the concerns of minorities entering the accounting profession.

Since 2000, he has been involved with the Corporate Council on Africa, a council working with governments, groups and businesses to improve the trade, and investment climate in Africa. Bailey has also been a member of Africare, a group focused on improving quality of life for people in Africa.

He said of all his accomplishments, it was the education he received at SIU that gave him the platform to be successful.

“A lot of the foundation that gave me the ability to be able to do that, I obtained at SIU,” he said.

Bailey said it takes time and resources to be able to give back.

He said his involvement in groups such as Blacks Interested in Business, Africare, and his role as a vice chairman and treasurer of CCA, allowed him to see how he could not only help underrepresented populations, but also how he could contribute to society as a whole.

“How do we get blacks to be more involved in business so that it doesn’t just benefit our community but it benefits the whole country?” Bailey said. “In today’s society, you can’t just look at how something affects black people. You have to look at how black people are a part of a whole macro world.”

Michael Haywood, director of minority affairs for the College of Business, said he has known Bailey more than 30 years. He said Bailey has a vision to help people around the world and a success story students can look to for inspiration.

“He is an excellent example to students of how all it takes is potential and hard work,” Haywood said. “If the youth today would take a look at his past and his accomplishments, they would see not only did Larry do great things, but they have the potential to do even greater things.”

Now retired, Bailey is the president of LDB consulting, Inc. He provides financial and tax consulting services to corporations, small businesses and individuals. He said he hopes the people he encounters are motivated to help others in the same way he helped them.

“When you’re in service, you don’t go out and try to accomplish anything. You just go out and serve,” he said. “I hope people continue to be concerned and involved, not about themselves, but about other people. That’s the real legacy you leave, is when people … feel that the things you have done are worth carrying on.”

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