In Memoriam: R. Chad Dreier

LMU accounting alumnus R. Chad Dreier ’69 passed away on Dec. 29, 2018, succumbing to cancer at the age of 71.

Highly regarded as one of LMU’s most successful alums, Mr. Dreier stayed tightly connected to his alma mater. He and his wife, Ginni, were incredibly generous with their time and treasure. They advocated for students and endowed numerous scholarships across campus including the Dreier Family Accounting Scholarship.

During his tenure as chair of LMU’s Board of Trustees from 1998-2011, Mr. Dreier helped transform the university through his engaged leadership and philanthropic generosity. Significant achievements during his term include the acquisition of University Hall, the building of the William H. Hannon Library, the establishment of the R. Chad Dreier Chair in Accounting Ethics, and major contributions to fundraising campaigns that expand opportunities for student learning and faculty development. Mr. Dreier provided support and counsel to three university presidents, and, together with Ginni, also a former trustee, donated approximately $8 million to LMU.

“His success should also be measured by the positive impact he had on all of the people and institutions he touched,” said Larry Kalbers, who holds the R. Chad Dreier Chair in Accounting Ethics. “He was a warm, caring person who always had a good story to tell and a booming laugh and a wide smile.”

The establishment of the R. Chad Dreier Chair in Accounting Ethics enabled the Department of Accounting to develop an accounting ethics course a decade before such a course was required by the California State Board of Accountancy for CPA licensure. Since 2006, LMU has also brought numerous ethical exemplars to campus as part of the Dreier Chair in Accounting Ethics Distinguished Speaker Series.

“Chad himself spoke in 2008, and I think his speech is still the best one in the series that conveyed what it is to be an ethical leader,” said Kalbers. “Holding the chair has definitely changed my life and I think it has positively impacted hundreds of accounting students who have taken the ethics course and probably thousands of accounting and business students as well as professionals who have attended the speaker series.”

After graduating from Loyola University and serving as first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force from 1969 to 1972, Mr. Dreier worked at what is now Ernst & Young until the mid-70s, when he entered the real estate business. In the early ’90s, he became president, chairman, and CEO of the Ryland Group, the seventh largest developer and builder of homes in the U.S. He retired in 2009. Mr. Dreier remained active in charitable and community organizations dedicated to literacy, education, and health-related causes.