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Centennial Celebration


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My Bentley Story by Werner Krings

I enjoyed studying for my Master of Science Degree at Bentley College/McCallum Graduate School. Before I started the program, I had the impression I would finish very well. There was however one caveat, the taxation class with Professor Joseph Newpol which I feared the most. Not because of this great professor, but because I remembered the terrible tax advisor from my father in Germany which was sort of traumatic. My grades totalled in average to A- , but given the case studies and my final exam with Prof. Newpol, my taxation course ended with an overall grade of B+. The professor called me on Friday stating I did well and did not need to hand in the final case study. The final grades were given the following Tuesday and on Saturday we would all graduate. Over the weekend, I reflected that I was just missing one point to 'High Distinction' meaning A-. While I was playing my piano, I said to myself it is just one point missing to the top grade. Why did this happen? On Monday, I drove my wife Maria to the hospital and donated two huge Taxation Codes to the bookstore at Bentley. I just reflected about this disappointment and suddenly came up with a very strange idea. I never argued about grades, but boldly I decided to call and leave a message on Professor Newpol's voicemail. While being with my wife at the hospital, I asked for the mercy if I could do an additional case study to improve my grade by the missing point. Before my wife was finished with the check-ups it was around 4 p.m. I sat in the waiting area of the hospital just checking my cellphone with the surprise that my professor had left a voicemail permitting another paper with the awkward topic "The income taxation of an amateur gambler". I left my wife in the hospital to rush back to Bentley. Unfortunately the taxation code (2 books) were no longer available, so I had to borrow them. With another setback that there was just a tiny paragraph to the taxation of a 'professional gambler'. Then I drove back to the hospital to pick up my wife and to drive all the way back to our house in Western Massachusetts. On the highway I prayed to God to give me a miracle. Long story short. While driving on the highway (Route 2) towards Harvard, MA, I got a whole Table of Content like a vision for the paper I was about to write this Monday night. (The final grades were due the next afternoon!). Arriving at home by 7:30 pm at night, the dial-up connection took some time and around 8:00 pm I sat on the desk to write down the ideas which I got in the vision on the highway driving home. I spent the whole night until 4:00 am writing on this paper starting with a definition from Webster .... and finding a case from a Tax court in Chicago.... At 5:00 am on Tuesday, I submitted the work to Prof. Newpol. Trying to get some sleep with racing thoughts what if the outcome was incorrect? My professor stated that the grade could go also downwards. At 7:00 a.m. that Tuesday morning, my wife drove me. I was so tired that I slept all the way on the road to Bentley where she worked. I just awoke while she handed me the car keys suggesting that I would get a strong cappuchino at Starbucks to relax a little bit. At around 11:00 am, I received a call from Prof. Newpol. He was amazed about the content of the paper which obviously matched exactly the outcome of his research. The work was rated excellent and he gave me the missing point to get my final overall average of A-. I feared the tax class the most besides the fact that Professor Joe was known as Prof. 3.0. I finished with A- 'High Distinction' the following Saturday. Currently, I work on my Doctorate and think back on this story with gratitude. Heavenly downloads are seldom but really similar to the IT downloads we know we all need them when our human wisdom and knowledge fail. In February this year I worked on a longer project in Ireland and prepared in the evening a paper as part of my doctorate for an upcoming conference in France. I remembered the story trying to get the groundwork on paper. The fond memory motivated me to do the job. Two months later the paper was accepted and my heart is filled with gratitude to all the wonderful professors (Brigitte Mühlmann, Prof. John Lynch, Ted Condren, Kenneth Kerber etc.) and experiences I had at Bentley, the encouragement to get through the intensive and quite demanding assignments and also to my wife Maria who originally recommended me this reputed Business School. When I think back on my Bentley Time, I can only say this was one of the best time in the US to meet great people, they cared for you and the college with the super library what a huge blessing to study there. I am honored to have graduated from this school. Happy 100 years anniversary! Thank you.


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