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Dean's Circle

Distinguished Donor Spotlight ~ Bill and Paula LeRoy

Committed to academic excellence, double Huskies Bill and Paula LeRoys' philanthropic support is advancing key College of Business priorities. Members of the President's Circle, the LeRoys are very active with NIU. Paula has served on the NIU Foundation Board for several years. As entrepreneurs and business owners, Bill and Paula were the first to recognize and support the strategic initiative of creating an entrepreneur emphasis in the College of Business, and, in 2007, established the Paula M. and William M. LeRoy Entrepreneurship Fund.

Last spring, the LeRoys established the Bill and Paula LeRoy Professorship in Social Entrepreneurship. Professorships play a crucial role recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty members. Dr. Christine Mooney was recently named the LeRoy Professor for her innovative research and teaching in the social entrepreneurship field.

The LeRoys' philanthropic investment goes beyond entrepreneurship. The couple provided a leadership gift to help establish the Donald E. Kieso Endowed Chair in Accountancy. Professor Kieso had a profound impact on Bill and he was among the first donors to step up and honor his "mentor and dear friend."

"It is hard for me to put into words how much I appreciate Bill and Paula" said Denise Schoenbachler, Dean of the NIU College of Business. "Their gifts are helping the College achieve goals that seemed like distant dreams a few years ago."

Bill received his B.S. in Accountancy in 1965. He is a retired partner from two different public accounting firms - Ernst & Young and BDO Seidman, LLP. In 1994, when Bill retired from Ernst & Young, he started a firm specializing in auditing pension plans. After significant success with his practice, he merged his firm into BDO Seidman, and became BDO's technical partner in charge of services to the pension industry. More recently, he specialized in auditing venture capital funds and helped develop a practice of more than 100 funds in the Bay Area. From 1997 to 2006, Bill served on the Board of Directors for Willis Lease Finance Corporation (Willis). Willis is a leader in the leasing of commercial jet engines and aircraft.

Bill is the 2011 recipient of the NIU Alumni Association's Outstanding Alumni Award from the College of Business.

Paula received her B.S. in Elementary Education in 1966. She is the retired CEO and Founder of Pension Benefit Information, a business serving major corporations and labor unions in pension administration tasks. She serves on the Board of Directors of the NIU Foundation.

Bill and Paula reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and are avid sailors. Bill has raced to Hawaii three times and competed in the Newport to Bermuda race. The couple enjoys spending time with family and contributing to charities, including Rotary and Rotaplast. They are active members of the NIU Alumni Association and attend various alumni, athletics and NIU Foundation events. The LeRoys have found "a real joy reconnecting with NIU and giving back."