1997 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

Charles J. O'Drobinak


Charles J. O'Drobinak is a first generation American and his accomplishments have come solely as the result of his talents, his commitment to serve others and his high level of motivation. Chuck's total active career of 38 years was with the renowned international "Big Six" accounting, auditing and consulting firm, Price Waterhouse LLP where he rose to the highest level of policy making in the firm and served on its world board. His election to a five year term on the firm's Policy Board was recommended by a nominating committee of his peers and confirmed by an election of all of the partners in the firm. He was also one of the firm's managing partners in the Midwest. He was one of few partners in the firm who was selected to open an office and was the only partner in the firm to accomplish two major occurrences:


His term as managing partner of the same office (Indianapolis) for 23 years is unique in Price Waterhouse. A contributing factor in this occurrence was his ability to expand the practice ¡n Indianapolis from 9 employees on opening to well over 100.


He was the only partner in the firm's history who was able to obtain two large Fortune 500 companies as clients of Price Waterhouse on the same day.

Internationally, Price Waterhouse has well over 56,000 professionals and practice support staff including over 3000 partners in 119 countries.

Chuck originally entered Southeastern Louisiana University (then College) on a music scholarship and played trombone in the college's symphony, concert band, pep band and dance band. He was inducted as the college's only non-music major in the professional music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha. His continued interest in music led to his

involvement with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, where he performed the financial computer modeling in the mid 1980's which formed the basis of the move of the Symphony to its present home in downtown Indianapolis in the rejuvenated Circle Theater. He was doubly recognized at his retirement party in July 1 1992, for his work for the Symphony over many years, by conducting the Symphony's playing of Peter Tchaikovsky's "Marche Slav" and by listening to the world premiere of "Night Visions", a symphonic piece written by First Trombonist, Jim Beckel, in Chuck's honor and to his great surprise. 

 He also succeeded in obtaining a full athletic scholarship, lettering in basketball in each of his four years at Southeastern.

In retrospect, Chuck got a great start to his career at Southeastern. The activities available to him in his collegiate career helped him to start developing a great range of interests. Late in his active career and after his retirement, Chuck got to know and visit with Dr. Joseph Miller, then Dean of the College of Business and Dr. Joseph Morris, head of the Department of Accounting in the School of Business when we regularly traveled to Hammond to visit my parents there. Dr. Miller, in particular, was very helpful to Chuck in finding a way to say thank you to Southeastern. With Dr. Miller's help, Chuck established "The O'Drobinak Excellence in Accounting Scholarship Award" in the amount of $1000 per year. This award was granted to an outstanding accounting major in each of the three years starting in 1993. While distance did not allow us to meet the three deserving students, he corresponded with them. It is his intent to continue that award in 1997.

Chuck's involvement in the many organizations identified in his biography is further evidence of his great commitment to serve others. He prides himself in leaving those organizations in better condition than the condition he encountered when he first began his volunteer activity with each of them. Beyond all the organized activities described in the bio, he is active in a variety of ways on a personal basis. He periodically performs personal services, without charge, for widows and or widowers who are unable to cope with all of the financial ramifications of their circumstances. He does not pursue these situations, but is called upon because of his reputation for financial savvy and for integrity.

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