[dropcap sid=”dropcap-1419005099″]P[/dropcap]rofessor Samuel Dyckman (1922–2014) was a friend from the time we met in 1939 as new members of House Plan McMaster ’42. He was intelligent, thoughtful, and interesting though not notably humorous. Yet, over the years, he was recognized and praised for his entertaining lectures on changes in federal income tax law and regulations.
To bridge the gap between the Sam I knew and the popular Professor Dyckman, several years ago I joined an audience of several hundred men and women—CPAs, attorneys, and other tax practitioners—in the ballroom of the New York Hilton Hotel. The subject was “Alternative Methods of Calculating an IRA’s Required Minimum Distribution.” While this sounds a bit dry, Sam was able to entertain and educate his audience at the same time. At the podium, Sam threaded his way through the mathematics while questioning the need or wisdom of the IRS having complicated matters by creating alternative methods. His mildly sarcastic remarks were a running commentary or footnote to his technical discussion. The audience enjoyed it—and would not forget the lesson the professor was teaching.
This is what makes a great teacher, and that is why Baruch students voted my quiet friend Sam “Best Teacher” several times.
—Lionel W. Greer ’42
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