Jeff McCroy, BSBA’84, CEO of Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS), acquired more than an understanding of the sum of the limit in the Rev. Bernard Portz’s, SJ, 8 a.m. calculus class his freshman year. He met and married four years later, his wife Linda. They hosted their rehearsal dinner at the Blue Jay (RIP), were married at St. James (St. John’s was booked) and held their reception in Kiewit (that’s right, not the Kiewit Fitness Center but the Kiewit Residence Hall).
McCroy was fifth in a family of six children to attend Creighton. But despite his family’s ties to the University and his now-obvious love of Creighton, becoming a Bluejay was not his original plan. He wanted to go to Notre Dame. His father wisely gave him the green light, with one provision: he had to pay the difference in tuition. His own bank account on the line, McCroy quickly determined his love of one green superseded his love for another, and he joined his siblings at Creighton. (McCroy also jokes that his father suspected he didn’t have the money but knew he didn’t have the grades!)
“It was the best decision of my life,” McCroy states.
After graduating with a major in finance, McCroy moved to Connecticut to work for Aetna Investment Management. The Kansas City, Missouri native’s career kept him on the East Coast and in Chicago, where he assumed various leadership roles in such firms as Bank of America, Transamerica Investment Management, American Century Investments and now CBIS in Chicago.
McCroy believes his Creighton education helped form who he is today both professionally and spiritually. The remembers the spiritual aspects of the University just as fondly as its academic programming and says its Jesuit traditions were “paramount” to his development as a person.
McCroy vividly recalls the Rev. Michael Morrison, SJ, then-president of Creighton, approaching him at registration the beginning of his sophomore year. His father had passed away, and it dawned on him, in the middle of registration, that he had no tuition money. He explained this to Fr. Morrison, who then invited McCroy to his office. Fr. Morrison worked some fiscal magic and found funding to keep McCroy at Creighton.
A believer in paying it forward, the McCroys are in the process of establishing a scholarship for current Creighton students encountering financial difficulties due to unforeseen problems, much like McCroy faced during his sophomore year. The couple have already created the H. Claire Murphy Scholarship, a women’s athletics scholarship in honor Linda’s mother, and they headed the Heider College of Business Ignite the Greatness Campaign in Chicago.
Why remained involved in a university he left over 30 years ago? To McCroy, the answer is simple: “To those who have been given much, much is expected.”