KPMG Foundation Endows Accountancy Professorship
DePaul celebrated Accountancy Professor Sandra Shelton as the newly named KPMG Neil F. Casson Endowed Professor and honored the KPMG Foundation’s generous support for DePaul’s accountancy school at a reception hosted by the Driehaus College of Business in April.
“This professorship brings great prestige to the school of accountancy and to the university,” the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul University, told faculty, students, alumni and KPMG representatives who gathered for the occasion. “It recognizes that faculty are a cherished resource, and, after all, it is faculty who educate, inspire and challenge.”
The endowed professorship supports Shelton’s teaching, research and service, most notably as the director of the internal auditing program at the School of Accountancy and Management Information Systems. The foundation’s gift of $650,000 to fund the professorship came from the estate of retired KPMG partner Neil F. Casson’s wife, Jeanne, who chose the KPMG Foundation as her sole beneficiary.
Shelton, who has taught at the university for more than two decades, said the professorship had special significance because of KPMG’s steadfast support throughout her academic career. She was one of the first recipients of the KPMG Doctoral Scholarship when she attended the University of Wisconsin.
She later served on the planning committee for The PhD Project, an initiative co-founded by the foundation in 1994 to address the under-representation of minorities on the faculties of American business schools. In 2012, the foundation recognized Shelton as a KPMG Alumni Distinguished Professor, one of only about 40 such professors in the nation.
“This appointment provides me with a greater opportunity to pay it forward to support the needs of students and my community in my efforts to make a difference,” Shelton said.
At the reception, Fr. Holtschneider presented Bernard J. Milano, president of the KPMG Foundation, with the DePaul Richardson Society plate to acknowledge the foundation’s long-standing philanthropic support.
“DePaul has been a major source of talent for the profession and we are proud of having our name associated with both the university and Sandra,” Milano said. “We look forward to many more years working together with integrity on our mutual high-quality, caring and diverse relationship.”
$1.8 Million Marriott Foundation Grant Supports New Hospitality Student Center
The School of Hospitality Leadership opened a new student center on the Loop Campus this fall with the support of a $1.8 million grant from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation.
Believed to be the first of its kind in the country, the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Center for Student Development and Engagement provides a place for students to connect with industry leaders and alumni mentors for personalized career preparation and leadership development guidance. It complements the highly specialized, cutting-edge curriculum of the school, which prepares students for management positions with hotels, restaurants and tourism ventures.
“This investment will significantly enhance the ability of the School of Hospitality Leadership to offer generations of diverse students a competitive advantage of academic preparation and professional development, befitting one of the best applied hospitality management programs in the nation,” says Misty Johanson, director of the school.
Led by Assistant Professor of Hospitality Leadership Nicholas Thomas, the center offers students individualized mentoring and career guidance; customized internship planning; and leadership and professional skills seminars, including etiquette and international service culture training. It also hosts industry and alumni events.
Among the center’s new initiatives is an ambassador program that enables students to work one-on-one with Chicago hospitality executives within their organizations. “Because of DePaul’s ideal location and tremendous industry support for the program in Chicago, executives are eager to be involved in the School of Hospitality Leadership and the lives of its students,” Johanson says.
Coleman Entrepreneurship Center Names Alumnus as Executive Director, Unveils New Space
The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center (CEC) has been a beacon of innovation in business at DePaul since its inception in 2003. Founded with a grant from The Coleman Foundation, the center provides guidance and resources for DePaul students and alumni to start and grow new ventures. The center is now poised to take its efforts to the next level thanks to a new leader, new space and a newly invigorated strategic plan.
In April, the CEC welcomed entrepreneur Bruce Leech (MBA ’81) as its executive director. Leech, who has been involved with the CEC for more than 12 years as an advisory board member, relishes this opportunity to lead the center into its innovative future.
“I am looking to leverage my 30 years in business and my experience of starting, selling and building businesses to work with the CEC staff to help expand our world-class programs,” says Leech, founder of CrossCom National, a telecommunication and IT services company. “I want to connect the entrepreneurial ecosystem within DePaul, within Chicago and across the country and the world.”
Leech and new CEC assistant director Abigail Ingram (LAS MA ’15) hosted the opening of the center’s new 4,000-square-foot offices on the seventh floor of the DePaul Center in the fall. The modern, flexible space features a main room that can be converted easily from a co-working area for student entrepreneurs to an 80-seat venue for the center’s programming.
The center supports DePaul’s highly ranked entrepreneur degree programs with workshops, seminars and speakers; a student and alumni new-venture competition called Launch DePaul; and an internship program that pairs students with newly founded Chicago businesses, among other initiatives. Last year, the CEC hosted 102 guest speakers and reached more than 2,000 people through its activities.
Leech says the CEC’s headquarters will serve as a bridge connecting students from across DePaul to entrepreneur alumni and Chicago’s thriving startup community. “This is a space where students and alumni can nurture their business ideas and try them out before unleashing them in the ‘real world.’”
In Memoriam: Brother Leo Ryan, C.S.V., Former DePaul Business Dean
From early beginnings in his small hometown of Waukon, Iowa, to training Peace Corps volunteers in Brazil, to initiating new graduate business programs and professorships at DePaul,
Bro. Leo Ryan, C.S.V. (MBA ’53, DHL ’13) spent his life transforming others through leadership, dedication and care. On June 22, he died at the age of 89.
A world traveler and prolific scholar, Bro. Leo “was generous in sharing his insights with his colleagues here and around the globe,” says Ray Whittington, dean of the Driehaus College of Business.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University, Bro. Leo entered his religious order, the Clerics of Saint Viator, in 1949. He later earned an MBA from DePaul and a doctorate from Saint Louis University.
Bro. Leo served as president of Saint Viator High School and dean at both Marquette University and the University of Notre Dame before returning to DePaul in 1980 as business college dean.
During his eight-year tenure, the college launched the School of Accountancy, the Institute for Business and Professional Ethics, the Kellstadt Marketing Center, and its first endowed professorships in entrepreneurship and finance. Bro. Leo also established the Dean’s Advisory Council and fostered greater engagement between the college and Chicago’s business community.
After retiring as dean, Bro. Leo continued sharing his knowledge about business ethics and management as a professor in the college and through his scholarship and teaching around the world.
He became a professor emeritus in 1999 and was honored that year with a Via Sapientiae Award, DePaul’s highest faculty and staff honor. In 2013, the business college presented him with an honorary doctorate.
“The contributions he made to business education, to DePaul and to countless alumni were enormous,” Whittington says. “He will be remembered for championing many initiatives that make our college distinctive today.”