Transcending time and distance

Colorado resident's enthusiasm for Virginia Tech remains strong

Chris Shean
Chris Shean

Long before he attended the university, Virginia Tech already meant a lot to Chris Shean (ACIS ’87).

Shean’s Hokie spirit was ignited at a young age. He remembers traveling as a boy from rural Victoria, Va., to watch football games. Years later, he enrolled at Virginia Tech, where he met his wife, Lesley (elementary education ’88).

Shean remembers countless great experiences from his time on the Blacksburg campus and in the classrooms of the department of accounting and information systems. And even though he lives more than half a country away these days, he’s always keeping a close eye on the Hokies.

“Lesley’s got great feelings about Virginia Tech, although she’s certainly not as passionate about the sports programs as I am,” Shean said, adding that he is such a rabid fan that “nobody can sit in the room with me when I’m watching games.”

In addition to being a serious Hokie sports fan, Shean has plenty of enthusiasm for the accounting and information systems department, which he said prepared him to succeed in business.

“You’re still starting pretty much from ground zero, but [a Virginia Tech accounting degree] gives you a great foundation,” Shean said of entering the workforce. “It teaches you how to be mature and be an adult, and readies you for a life beyond college. It was a great education.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree in accounting, Shean landed a position in Norfolk, Va., with KPMG. Work brought him to Denver in 1995, and in 2000 he joined Liberty Media, where he now serves as senior vice president and chief financial officer.

The Sheans, who live in Castle Pines Village, Colo., have two sons: Tyler, a junior at the University of Northern Colorado, and Max, a sophomore in high school.

As his career flourished, Shean became a dedicated supporter of Virginia Tech, both financially and by giving his time in service to the university.

Since 2012, he has sat on the Pamplin Advisory Council and the Department of Accounting and Information Systems Advisory Board. Shean has donated toward the Richard E. Sorensen Dean’s Chair Endowment, and has provided unrestricted funds to the Department of Accounting and Information Systems.

He was inducted into the Caldwell Society in 2011, and earlier this year advanced into the Ut Prosim Society, which is named for the university’s motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

“That motto resonates deeply with me,” Shean said. “Taking it to a philanthropic level, it’s the Biblical passage, ‘To whom much is given, much will be required.’ This is an opportunity for me to share with others some of the success I’ve had, which, in part, was allowed by the education that I got at Pamplin.”

— By Rich Polikoff

Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Magazine Spring 2014

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