Susan (Ernst)’86 and John McNamara ’86 found more than just an education that led to a great career in their accounting classes at Texas A&M University, they also found true love: the couple became acquainted when they were assigned to sit next to each other in Accounting 427. They married and both went on to positions with PricewaterhouseCoopers (then two separate firms â€” Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse) after graduation. Now, more than 20 years later, they are joining with their firm to honor education in the accounting department at Mays Business School at A&M by creating a $25,000 scholarship fund.
“I remember John and Susan as students, as does their Accounting 427 professor, Chris Wolfe, and I am not surprised with their success in work, family, and the community,” said James Benjamin, professor and head of the accounting department. “It is particularly meaningful to me to have former students give back to our program in recognition of the support they received from our faculty. Their scholarship fund will certainly make a difference for many future accounting students.”
After four years with PwC, Susan left her professional career to devote her full time to their family and volunteer work. She is active in the community, specifically at the local high school where their son attends. John is an audit partner in PwC’s Dallas office. The couple has moved several times with the firm where John has spent his entire career. He says he has stayed with PwC all these years because he enjoys the challenges each new day brings in his position.
John says his biggest obstacle while still a student at A&M was finding balance between work and school. “I was fortunate that I had several professors that really cared about the students and that made sure we were positioned for the future,” he said. “A&M gave me the opportunity to succeed and the foundation for a strong future.” It’s in gratitude for those opportunities that the McNamaras have chosen to give back to A&M, hoping to help current students achieve all that they can from a Mays education.
The McNamaras are pleased to be able to be part of the combined gifts from PwC, as several partners have joined with the firm to create a gift with the total impact of $275,000 for scholarships. “My wife and I have an obvious attachment to A&M and to the firm. That’s why we wanted to give back,” said John.
John is still present on the A&M campus, as he is part of PwC’s recruiting efforts on campus. He is also on the board of directors for Junior Achievement of Dallas and the board of trustees for the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.
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