Del Alamo gives back to ACIS:

$1.5 million pledge for professorship

For most teens, college is the first time they learn what it’s like to live apart from their parents. For Jorge Del Alamo Jr. (ACCT ’69), the lesson came earlier.

In 1961, Del Alamo’s family sent the 14-year-old, his sister, and their cousin away from Fidel Castro’s Cuba to the United States. The children lived in orphanages for six months until their parents could join them.

Jorge and Lin Del Alamo(Photograph by Albert Raboteau)
Jorge and Lin Del Alamo

“That was an eye-opening experience, going from a place where people were really looking after you to where if, say, you didn’t like the food and want to eat, that’s just your problem,” Del Alamo recalled. “But, looking back, it makes you a better person.”

His family eventually settled in Danville, Va., where his father — an attorney in Cuba — found work teaching Spanish. After high school, Del Alamo took his first accounting class at a Virginia Tech satellite program in his hometown.

“It was like somebody turned on the light,” recalled Del Alamo, who transferred to Blacksburg as a junior. “I knew I wanted to be an accountant. … It’s a very logical field of study. Things are supposed to balance. That squares with my personality, which is pretty orderly.”

Del Alamo’s skill at accounting and fluency in Spanish helped him excel at KPMG, where he was a partner for 23 years and did tax work for international firms. He lives in Corpus Christi, Texas, but makes sure to stop by Blacksburg on regular visits to his parents, who now live in Charlottesville.

Del Alamo credits Virginia Tech with preparing him to succeed, and he is a major supporter of the Department of Accounting and Information Systems. He has given to the KPMG professorship held by Larry Killough and has endowed an accounting scholarship. He and his wife Lin have created an excellence fund to benefit the department and recently pledged $1.5 million in future support for a professorship in accounting.

“You look back and realize you don’t do all this on your own,” Del Alamo said. “You owe this to a lot of other people, [like] your parents, but also [to] the university, for the great education and opportunity to gain confidence and mature and learn the value of hard work.”

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