Leonard Spacek, Former Chairman ARTHUR ANDERSEN & CO.
HISTORY AND HUMAN NATURE
I now understand why Bill Peterson, former Florida State football coach, in accepting membership in the Florida Hall of Fame is reported to have said, "I am very appreciative of being indicted." The instinctive reaction to being so selected is to defend what one has done.
I accept this Award from you, Mr. President, and the members of this Association, but in particular from the Board and Faculty Com-mittee of Ohio State University. To me, this is a high compliment from a body of dedicated women and men. After a lifetime in the accounting profession, I now realize that the academic community is the only continuing arm for progress that we have in the profes-sion. I did not always hold this viewpoint. It is probably the only change in my appraisal of the profession that I have made in nearly 50 years. The reason I never gave adequate weight before to the academic force in the profession, was because I could not bring myself to believe that the academic community was the only coordi-nated, continuing force, from generation to generation, for advance-ment in the profession. By comparison, we in practice were and are inclined to accept as true the saying "that one man can make a vast difference for evil, but he cannot make much of a difference for good." Yet, a philosophical friend told me that while this view is a melancholy truth of history and human nature, the public is still un-willing to accept it as it, i.e. the public, naively continues to hope for a "Great Deliverer."
Professor Burns was kind enough to tell me that the presentation of this Award was to precede breakfast and that only a few minutes of acceptance would be in order. Had I not been forewarned, I had in mind to chisel in stone a few last descriptive comments on the lack of proficiency in the profession and in the retrogressive gov-ernmental regulations that are preventing fair accountability. Now,
Leonard Spacek became the thirty-fifth inductee to the Accounting Hall iof Fame during ceremonies at the Ohio State Alumni breakfast on August 19th in Tucson. This acceptance speech is one of the few public pronouncements by Mr. Spacek since his retirement in 1973.