DePaul University and its Driehaus College of Business joined KPMG Foundation representatives this spring to celebrate the foundation's generous support for DePaul's accountancy program and honor Accountancy Professor Sandra Shelton as the newly named KPMG Neil F. Casson Endowed Professor.
"This professorship brings great prestige to the department of accountancy and to the university," said the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul, at a reception attended by faculty, students, alumni and KPMG employees. "It recognizes that faculty are a cherished resource, and after all, it is faculty who educate, inspire and challenge."
DePaul and KPMG leaders gather to celebrate their long-standing partnership.
The KPMG Foundation's gift of $650,000 to fund the professorship was made possible through the estate of retired KPMG partner Neil F. Casson's wife, Jeanne, who chose the KPMG Foundation as her sole beneficiary.
"This recognition is special to me because of the significant role KPMG played during my academic career," said Shelton, who has taught at the university for more than two decades.
Shelton was one of the first recipients of the KPMG Doctoral Scholarship when she attended the University of Wisconsin. She went on to serve as a member of the planning committee for The PhD Project, which the KPMG Foundation co-founded in 1994 to address the under-representation of minorities on the faculties of U.S. business schools. At DePaul in 2012, Shelton was recognized as the KPMG Alumni Distinguished Professor — one of more than 40 such distinguished professorships throughout the U.S. provided by the KPMG Foundation.
"The endowed professorship is a recognition that I aspired to as an academic because of the motivation it provides to my students to reach higher in their profession," said Shelton. "Additionally, 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."
As the KPMG Neil F. Casson Endowed Professor at DePaul, Shelton will continue her teaching, research and service, most notably with the School of Accountancy's Master in Accountancy degree program with a focus on internal auditing. The program is one of only 15 nationwide that have earned recognition from the Institute of Internal Auditors.
"It's clear that Sandra's work as a teacher, scholar and mentor have positively touched the lives of many individuals, and through them, strengthened the accountancy profession," said Ray Whittington, dean of the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.
"We are enormously grateful for the Foundation's generous gift to endow the KPMG/Neil F. Casson Endowed Professorship. The effects of this gift will be felt for many years to come as Sandra and her colleagues continue to inspire new generations of accounting professionals."
Shelton was not the only person honored at the April 14 reception held at DePaul's business school. Bernard J. Milano, president of the KPMG Foundation, was presented with the DePaul Richardson Society plate. The recognition honors DePaul’s long-standing benefactors for their philanthropic support.
"While we have had a professorship at DePaul for many years, it is thrilling that we now have an endowment," says Milano. "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. We look forward to many more years working together with integrity on our mutual high quality, caring and diverse relationship."