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Mar 12 2013
Mark Solomon Memorial
By: Brenda Meller Category: Alumni

21

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mark Solomon, B.A., M.Ed,. J.D., LL.M. (in Taxation), professor of Taxation and Business Law and director of the Mark Solomon Tax Research Center. He died on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at the age of 67.

Mark developed the Master of Science in Taxation to achieve national recognition and took pride each time an MST alumni was promoted or achieved professional success.

In addition to his role at Walsh, Mark was also of counsel in taxation and estate planning practice to Strobl & Sharp in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Mark Solomon was a practicing tax attorney when he joined Walsh College in 1977 as an adjunct instructor of taxation. The MST program had made its debut in 1974 as the first of its kind outside of a law school, with a focus on finance and accounting. Mark became department chair and director of the program in 1981.

He kept the program rigorous by recruiting well-known successful tax practitioners expert in their respective teaching areas, and by updating all courses to incorporate continually changing tax laws.

In 1995, he introduced three specialized concentrations in the MST program: Taxation of Corporations, Tax Aspects of Financial and Estate Planning, and Taxation of Small businesses and Their Owners. The College is known for its extensive, organized tax research library, one of the largest in Michigan, with 5,000 tax titles and almost 3,000 tax serials accessed by local professionals.

In 2012, Mark’s pursuit of academic excellence was reflected in a survey by Tax Talent, the largest online support organization for tax professionals. The MST was ranked 7th in the U.S. by MST alumni and 14th by tax professionals.

Mark wrote and edited extensively on the subject of taxation. He was a book review columnist for the quarterly Michigan Tax Law (1989-1992) and wrote book reviews and articles for scholarly journals. He also edited teacher packs for cases and materials on consolidated tax returns and the application of legal principles and authorities to the federal tax law.

He received a Bachelor of Arts from The Ohio State University, a Master of Education from Cleveland State University, a Juris Doctor with honors from George Washington University, and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from Georgetown University Law School.

Mark was admitted to practice on the Supreme Court of Michigan, the Ohio Supreme Court, the United States Court of Federal Claims, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the United States District Court for Eastern Michigan, and the United States Tax Court. He was a member of the Michigan Bar Association (Section of Taxation), the Tax Section of the American Accounting Association, the American Business Law Association, and the Mathematical Association of America.

During his career, Mark worked for the Cleveland Public School System (1968-1971), the National Office of the Internal Revenue Service (1973-1975), Butzel, Long, Gust, Klein and Van Zile (1976-1978), University of Detroit Law School (1976-1980), Shatzman and Solomon, P.C. (1979-1981), and was of counsel in taxation for Meyer & Kirk (1981-2011).

Mark was an extremely generous person, often taking colleagues to sporting events and favorite restaurants. (He loved corned beef sandwiches.) He loved sports, especially his beloved Ohio State Buckeyes. He was fascinated by the statistics behind the game, games of chance, bridge, word games, science fiction and mysteries, and music. Mark also loved ducks and Welsh Corgi dogs.

 

Mark umpires a 1980 faculty and staff vs. students softball game at the Troy campus. AVP of Enrollment & Student Services Vickie Scavone is the catcher.

 

He delighted in passing along news articles, publications, and accomplishments of MST alumni. As he wrote in a letter for the 30th anniversary celebration of the MST: "Speaking for myself and for the College, the real source of pride and sense of achievement comes every time one of our alumni gets promoted or achieves some kind of success professionally. You are what we are about."

The feeling was mutual. In 2012, alumni stepped forward and created the Mark Solomon Endowed Scholarship to honor Professor Solomon's teaching excellence.

To view a memorial video for Mark Solomon please click here.

Services were held on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, in Livonia, Mich. In accordance with the family's wishes, contributions honoring Mark's memory can be made to the Mark Solomon Endowed Scholarship; American Diabetes Association; P.O. Box 11454; Alexandria, VA 22312, or to any charity of your choice.

 


  Comments

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Jenny Tatsak March 12, 2013 at 01:51 pm

Mark Solomon’s legacy is immeasurable. Anyone who came in contact with him was awed by his intellect and vast knowledge of everything. Those of us, who worked with him, know that he loved to win an argument (and he usually did win), enjoyed a vast array of musical favorites, which ranged from Elvis to rap and had a biting wit that more than once made me laugh until I hurt. Mark’s presence was larger than life and will forever impact Walsh College.

Patty Demasek March 12, 2013 at 01:29 pm

I have worked with Mark at Walsh College for 22 years and always found him to be compassionate towards his teachings, his students and anything else you threw at him. He could tell you just about anything and everything about any topic. (I am probably not telling you anything you don't already know). When former students call, one of the first questions they will ask is “does Professor Solomon still teach?”; or , “Mr Solomon was my toughest instructor…but I learned so much from him!” Mark would stop by just about every day; sometimes it was about his classes, grades or students, but especially around three or four in the afternoon for his chocolate/candy/snack run to our department…a lot of this candy was supplied by Mark, which we enjoyed too! We all loved it when he would tell us where he was going to take us to get the 'best' corned beef sandwich and how it truly should be made! I shall miss talking with him about food, sharing recipes (his mom's butter cookie recipe!); and good restaurants. Of course he enjoyed his sports, we saw him many times at different sporting venues in the area. Talking about The Ohio State and The University of Michigan saga; after a game and talking with Mark, I always felt like U-M lost even if they beat OSU; weird. I will miss seeing him in his speedy red chair, taking or NOT taking the corners around the building; I am sure he has left his mark…no pun intended. Honestly watching him try to maneuver around in that chair the first couple months was a hoot! I will miss Professor Solomon, his knowledge, his generosity and the commitment to his students and the college. He was a very fine man.

Zabet Rayes March 12, 2013 at 01:42 pm

During 1992 at Walsh College I was preparing for my master in finance and I was required to take tax class ,which I do not like, but I enrolled in Mr. Solomon tax class anyway. Eventhough I niether pass the class nor enjoyed it, but I enjoyed his teaching and his enthusiasm about this complicated subject. I never like taxes but his personality made me enjoy the class. With my bad luck that class was not required for graduate program (MSF). May he rest in peace and may God bless his soul.

Terri Washburn March 12, 2013 at 01:53 pm

It will be hard to get used to a Walsh College without Mark Solomon in it. His personality was larger than life, his wit sharp, and debating skills unbeatable. I most remember his face lighting up when he talked about his days at Ohio State. He shared a story with me once that is *true* Mark Solomon. Back in his college days at Ohio State he took part in a student challenge event that was like the show Jeopardy. He was part of a team that was so pumped up and excited that when the announcer began to read a question, Mark buzzed in before he said more than 3 words. In fact, the announcer read from the card "This opening sentence -" and Mark hit the buzzer. His team-mates were upset and stared at him. The audience went silent. He told me he had to think quickly. The most notable opening line he could think of was "Call me Ishmael" so he answered the announcer "What was Moby Dick?" He was correct! The crowd and his team went wild. Truly a glory moment. The other thing I will miss about him was his unerring ability to find a typo - every typo, every time!- I sent out an email. It got to where I sent them to him to proof-read ahead of time....but even now I'm smiling thinking about getting reply emails from him, always in bold font, "Terri. You misspelled .....". Bless him, he was always right. Even now, I'm hoping I haven't misspelled anything here - because I'm sure he's checking. You'll be missed, Mark.

Mohan Singh Jhand March 12, 2013 at 01:22 pm

Prof. Mark Solomon was very helpful to students, with greate knowlege of tax subject, i love his class when he delivered his lecture without reading any book and covered page by page referred text book. He had great knowlege of all matter he delivered in class, i request several time help after college, he helped our group after classes. He was very strict for study and home work like for small mistakes (comma) not on research paper etc, These mistakes later teach me to successfull tax expert. We will miss you Prof. when we remember the name of Walsh. Thanks for everythings you did for several hundered students each year scattered over the world in your life. Wishing you God’s peace, we will miss you always.

James W. Williams IV March 13, 2013 at 08:50 am

Mark was tough, and at the time I didn't understand but now I see why he was tough. A true pioneer. He will be missed.

Michele Jeffery March 13, 2013 at 01:23 pm

Prof. Mark Solomon was the type of Professor that if you ever had you never forgot nor did he forget you. He pushed his students to be the best they were capable of both in the class room and in their professional career. He was hard yet compassionate. Years after I graduated with a Masters in Taxation I was using the Walsh library for some research and he walked over and struck up a conservation talking about me as a student and my career just like I was still attending his classes. He will be missed by all of us whose lives he touched.

HOang Nguyen March 13, 2013 at 01:53 pm

Sorry to hear about Professor Mark Solomon! I just get in and he already left. It's sad because i have not had a chance to learn from him.

George Leyh March 14, 2013 at 03:08 am

He is a man among men. As I progress in my civilian career in a large corporation, his memory of a very difficult class but outstanding instructor is my memory. I am now progressing in my years, but I hope I follow in his leadership skills in some small scale. MSPA 1993

Todd Wright March 15, 2013 at 10:33 am

Looking back on my life, three teachers stand out in my memory for having gone so far beyond simply teaching that they actually changed my way of thinking and made me a better person: my sixth grade teacher, my psychology teacher at OCC, and Mr. Solomon. As a CPA, I heard the name Mark Solomon many times before ever meeting him. Just about any mention of Walsh College in a discussion was followed by the question, "Have you taken any of Mark Solomon's classes?". It wasn't until I enrolled in the MST program that I got to meet him. I'll admit, I basically hated the MST program. It was so hard with such an intense amount of reading required that it often seemed unreasonable. But in the end, that's what made it so great. And I always looked forward to Mr. Solomon's classes. His teaching style was more like having an interesting discussion with a master of the material. And just when we all needed a mental break, he would tell some hilarious story. At graduation, all I wanted to do was find Mr. Solomon a get a picture with him, which I keep in my office. It was a great honor to learn from him and I consider myself lucky to have gotten to know him personally, even if only a little. I am terribly saddened to learn of his passing. Two nights ago I was stranded in the office very late (it is tax season) and my wife said, "You're doing what he taught you to do." The thought brought tears to my eyes. Goodbye, Mr. Solomon and thank you for setting the bar so high.

Emily Bologna Griffin March 15, 2013 at 01:37 pm

I earned by MST in 1993 and had a number of classes under Dr. Mark Solomon. He was truly an inspiration to all of us. His knowledge of tax law was amazing. He had a gift of teaching that always made me want to learn more. He always seemed to be excited when his classes asked questions and wanted them to do so. We will miss you Dr. Solomon!

Samuel Lawson March 18, 2013 at 11:12 am

I must say I really and truly loved Mark Solomon. He took me under his wing and was extremely kind and generous with me. He spent a lot of personal time with me. Took me to dinners, sports events, operas. He introduced me to many aspects of classical music, including hearing the same exact piece by many different composers (or singers) to study the subtle variations. One of my fondest memories with my mother just a couple of years before her untimely passing at the age of 46 was taking her to court-side seats for the beloved Detroit Pistons, who were at that time the champs in the late 80's early 90's. This was of course due to Mark's generosity. And I can attest, boy, did he love those corned beef sandwiches. Mark was truly kind and inspired me in many ways, not only personal, but academic. He more than encouraged, he almost insisted, that I worked harder and harder. Mark nominated me for Student of the Year in 1990, and I was elected as such by the faculty. I know Mark pushed for that. I won the Wall Street Journal Student Achievement award that year. I've gone on to have a very successful career and life. When I reflect on my days at Walsh, they were happy days, exciting days, rewarding days. A huge part of my memory of Walsh College is Mark Solomon. It brought me incredible sadness this morning to read of his passing. I will be in mourning over this for some time. I wish I could spend one more day hanging out with Mark. He was and is the best. Mark will go down as one of the bulwarks and structural pillars in my life. Samuel Lawson Class of 1990

Philip Ullom March 18, 2013 at 01:09 pm

I am deeply saddened to have lost Mark Solomon, who made a huge difference in my life. I turned down a generous Fellowship offer in Florida and attended Walsh College (with no financial aid) soley on the strength of one long interview with Mark. I was greatly impressed with his direction and guidance of the MST program, and I knew I would receive a far superior education in Mark's Tax program. In essence, I paid an extra $28,000 a year to attend Walsh beyond the regular tuition cost, because that was the annual stipend attached to the Fellowship I turned down. It ended up to be worth every penny and more. Mark hired me after I received my MST in 1984, and then was instrumental in helping me land my first job in the HR consulting world with Hewitt Associates in 1985. My years with Mark at Walsh were a key foundation stone of my career, and of a 30+ year friendship with Mark. His passing comes as no surprise, as his health was terrible and getting worse. However, I very much looked forward to our monthly lunches, and staying in close contact with Mark. There are few people of whom it can truly be said he or she was one of a kind, but Mark was sui generis on the hoof. From intramural ping-pong and heavyweight wrestling champion his freshman year at Pitt (he later transferred to OSU), to the International Taxation division of the IRS, to his brilliance as a grandmaster in bridge, to his long Chairmanship of the Tax Department at Walsh College, and spanning his encyclopedic knowledge of literature, music, film, history, mathematics, and science, he continued to surprise, amaze, and delight. It seemed there was always one more layer to the onion with Mark, that one could not reach the end of his knowledge, experience, and insightful, creative thinking. It was invariably challenging and rewarding to match wits with Mark. He always made me see or contemplate some angle or perspective I would not have otherwise considered. He was a lonely man who went his own way, was absolutely self-determining, and always brutally honest about his strengths and his shortcomings; no false modesty, but no delusions of grandeur either. He was a genuinely formidable man, and I treasured his friendship. I feel cheated of twenty more good years with him. God’s mercy and blessing on his soul. Phil Ullom M.S.T. 1984

Naila Payne March 18, 2013 at 01:30 pm

I am saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Mark Solomon. I am a current MST student who will be graduating this spring and my final class is TAX 510, I really dreaded having Dr. Solomon as the professor for that class but I was ready to receive him. I had visioned shaking his hand at graduation, thanking him for pushing me and reminding me not to give up regardless of the barriers I face. I was ecstatic when I looked at the schedule on line and saw that would not be teaching 510 in the spring, but wondered why. I enjoyed having conversations with him in the hallways and after class. I will really miss seeing him this spring. I know his spirit will dwell in the halls of Walsh College forever. He was a hard professor yet inspiring. Rest In Peace Professor. Naila M Payne MST 2013.

Michael Brown March 25, 2013 at 01:26 pm

As a student, I hated his classes at the time. He was so tough. After graduation, I began to appreciate the toughness. It prepared me more than I thought it would - not just in the tax classes but in various avenues of the business world. Bless you Professor Solomon.

Tom Doran March 25, 2013 at 01:41 pm

I will never forget him for giving up his 2 seats for the NBA Finals in the late 80's to me and a friend. Very humbling!

Barb Goldman March 25, 2013 at 01:10 pm

Like all the comments written, Mark Solomon was a great person to know and work with. I actually worked for him in the 1990s grading his class tax returns, quizzes and exams for three years. My degree was in accounting, but was allowed to take three MST classes instead of the accounting seminars. One of my last classes was with Mark (call him Mr. Solomon in class) and I enjoyed his lectures. He was the first person who taught me how to study for classes that were lectures and exams. I'm sorry that he is gone, and that the new students will never know him or be able to take a Tax Class from him. If you called him at home and got his answering machine, you were told to talk slowly. If he couldn't understand your name or phone number, your call was not returned. He would also return your phone call at his convenience, oh, like 2:00 am, if you didn't tell him when he could return your call. He will be missed. RIP, Mark.

Scott Bordelove March 26, 2013 at 01:53 pm

I can’t describe how important Mark was to my future. He taught me how to think for myself. Never be a follower, always be a leader. To be humble and never think you know everything. He gave me the self-confidence and education to succeed. I have instilled his qualities to my five children. I will truly miss him.

Yongjie (Jay) Wang, CPA March 27, 2013 at 01:05 pm

I am so sad to hear of the passing of Dr. Mark Solomon. Word cannot express my sadness. I was in the Master's program in accountancy at Walsh College from 1993 to 1996. Three taxation courses (individual tax /corporation tax / tax research) were required, but as an international student with a very little knowledge about US tax, I started more or less with a blank slate. I became a student of Dr. Solomon's in all three tax courses. His profound professional expertise and charismatic personality had an immeasurable impact on me. I say with confidence that he was the best and most important professor in my educational experience. He not only imparted immense tax knowledge to me, but he also taught me how to research and resolve complex tax issues. It is the reason that I am able to constantly improve and update my tax knowledge and enhance my skills in the business world. Given the solemn news of the loss, words seem inadequate. Today and always, may loving memories bring Dr. Solomon peace, comfort, and strength. He will be always be remembered.

Michael Sztajer April 16, 2013 at 01:07 pm

Professor Mark Solomon......where does one begin? Mark was intelligent, challenging, compassionate, giving, humorous, good hearted and fun. He enjoyed people, and his career. While I was workng the afternoon shift at Walsh, on several occasions Mark and I would go to dinner together. It was great just talking to him about anything and everything. Listening to his responses, stories and life experiences were always eye opening and interesting. Walsh is different without him, as he is indeed missed.

David Ware August 5, 2013 at 01:13 pm

Today is August 5, 2013, and as I perused through my Walsh email, I find that Professor Solomon passed. I cannot express enough the shock and sadness. This man was absolutely brilliant. I was one of those who had a good academic fight with him (several!), and I have nothing but respect for him as a professor and a professional. One memory I'd like to share . The professor, a fellow classmate and I were discussing quadratic equations. Professor Solomon quoted the equation in detail as well as its application and asked if I could do the same. He says "What's the use of learning something if you can't remember it? What do you say to this??When I graduate with my MST, I will be saying a quiet thanks to you, professor. May you rest in peace.



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