In 2000, Chris McCauley (MAC ’87) decided it was time to assess where he was in his career. He had graduated from DePaul 13 years before with a master’s degree in accounting and then began his career as an auditor with accounting giant Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC). He then moved on to Quaker Oats and later to Ameritech, in the benefits group.
He found that something new was calling to him.
“As much as I like working with numbers, I like working with people more,” McCauley says.
Now a Certified Financial Plannert with the Strategic Planning Group Inc. in Indianapolis, McCauley looks back on the first half of his career as great preparation for his current role. “I can quickly understand a person’s situation, and with an accounting background, I hit the ground running with their tax situation.”
McCauley came to DePaul as a transfer student, attracted to the outstanding reputation of the business school’s accountancy program. “DePaul is very open-minded about accepting transfer students’ coursework from other schools. I paid for my own education, so I was particularly grateful about that.”
McCauley, a native of Will County, just southwest of Chicago, enjoyed being away from home. “Living in Lincoln Park, getting on the ‘L,’ was very exciting.” Any anxieties he might have had were dispelled by Bro. Leo V. Ryan, C.S.V, then dean of the business school. “He got to know me by my first name. He was welcoming that way and just made me feel I made the right choice in DePaul.”
McCauley also connected with DePaul’s Vincentian mission. “I got a great deal out of those courses in religion and philosophy. They teach you how to be open-minded and think.” McCauley lives the mission not only by helping his clients, but also by serving on the board of a nonprofit that helps victims of violence and their families, and volunteering at his church and local Catholic school.
McCauley and his wife, Clarice (JD ’98), recently became members of The 1898 Society, an annual giving program DePaul founded for alumni who want to increase their commitment to the university and its students with an annual donation of at least $1,898. “What kind of got us was that 40 percent of the students are first-generation college students,” McCauley says. Helping financially challenged students with the ambition to make better lives for themselves is the McCauleys’ way of saying “thank you” to DePaul.