Wayne Hoeing ’86 had no clear career aspirations when he came to Marian University as a first-generation college freshman from rural southeastern Indiana in 1982. He did know he could play baseball and that his mother believed the people of Marian would take good care of her son. What he did not know is just how much of a role Marian would play in shaping his future.
The truth is he was a pretty good guy before he came here—already an athlete and student leader. But, besides the fact that he did not have a major-league fastball, he found himself ready for new challenges, and he wanted to make a difference. After starting out playing baseball at Marian his freshman year, Hoeing moved on to other leadership positions, including president of the Student Government Association (SGA) and two years as a resident assistant in Doyle Hall. He also discovered those career aspirations.
An “interesting and logical” intermediate accounting class caught Hoeing’s attention. Hoeing, now the regional tax-managing principal for CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, is a licensed, certified public accountant and tax attorney—a lifelong learner, he had pursued his law degree while working as a staff accountant at Ernst & Young. To Hoeing, his career has been much more about the people than the numbers.
“I get a chance to work with really smart and motivated people at my firm, and it’s fascinating to witness the pride of my clients as they share stories about the businesses they have started and built from the ground up,” said Hoeing, who takes that pride very seriously. Committed to serving his clients well, he referenced the Theodore Roosevelt quote that “clients don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.”
It’s important to Hoeing that his clients know how much he cares. They may not care so much about his Trivial Pursuit prowess, but, the fact is, even accountants need to know how to talk to and connect with people. Hoeing credits his Marian University liberal arts education for preparing him to be able to converse and interact professionally and confidently with coworkers and clients. The Trivial Pursuit success was just bonus.
In fact, Hoeing’s firm currently employs five Marian graduates and one student intern. “We get a consistently high-performing talent when we get somebody from Marian. The experiential learning at Marian is critical, but it’s that liberal arts foundation and the communication skills that are invaluable,” Hoeing said, “There is also a connectivity that comes out of a Marian education, from the students knowing how much the faculty cares about them and the relationships they were able to develop because of that trust.”
Hoeing speaks fondly of the unique experience enhanced by his favorite role models and mentors, like Sr. Vivian Rose Morhauser, OSF, Sr. Mary Rose Stockton, OSF, and Fr. Leopold Keffler, OFM Conv., Ph.D.
“There was a genuine affection and respect for the Sisters. And Fr. Leopold, who was the SGA advisor, was actually a co-celebrant at our wedding,” Hoeing said.
Hoeing and his wife, Lori, have been married for 31 years and have raised three children—Sarah, Anna, and Ben. One of Hoeing’s favorite stress relievers and proudest accomplishments has been the hours spent coaching the kids’ athletic teams over the years. A dedicated alumnus, Hoeing has also found the time to volunteer on campus as a member of the scholarship fundraising committee and, more recently, the Byrum School of Business board of visitors.
“Marian University produces young adults who realize their opportunity to reshape the world. It’s just a natural environment for the fostering of an individual’s potential impact and personal responsibility to serve colleagues, clients, and community through philanthropy and community service,” Hoeing said, “and that is why I continue to invest in Marian.”
He knows he’s not alone in this opinion when he witnesses the people streaming into Marian football games and the high-quality, high-profile individuals who are now connected in some way with Marian. “You would have never thought 15 years ago that I’d be attending our annual gala along with the Who’s Who of Indianapolis,” Hoeing said, “The support and buy-in of this community for Marian University is truly remarkable and gratifying.”
Hoeing is grateful for all the opportunities his Marian undergraduate experience provided and is pleased to be a participant in its future pursuits—none of which are trivial.