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ALUMNI PROFILE: Larry Iwanski (MSA '00)

by Carol Elliott

November 25, 2013


Larry Iwanski’s call from Notre Dame came just a bit late.

In the mid-1980s, he applied to the Notre Dame ROTC program in the interests of bringing together his love for Notre Dame with his love for the military. But he heard nothing back, so he proceeded to enroll at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Two years went by, and his mother happened to mention that Notre Dame called midway through his first year at West Point. They wanted to talk to Iwanski about joining its ROTC program.

“So obviously something went wrong there,” he laughs.

But eventually, Iwanski got his chance to be a member of the Fighting Irish.

He completed his BS in Economics from West Point, and then served nine years as a commissioned officer in the United States Army. Iwanski subsequently took a job with Ernst & Young as an auditor. At the time, the Master of Science in Accountancy had just began offering its E&Y program—an accelerated course of study that allowed students to earn their masters in two summers. Iwanski spent Memorial Day 1999 sitting in his first Notre Dame classroom as a student.

Since then, Iwanski, who currently is an executive director with the Ernst & Young Financial Services Office in Atlanta, has made it a point to stay connected with his classmates and the school. He has served as a guest lecturer in MSA classes, delivered the last commencement address for the Ernst & Young YMP program, and joined the Mendoza Graduate Alumni Board.

“As a summer program person, you don’t have as much interaction with people,” he says. “So being part of the board allows me to be better in tune with the happenings on campus and to extend my network of fellow alums, faculty and others at the University.”

There’s a larger picture to his involvement as well.  

“Notre Dame is more than just a school; it’s a culture, a standard, a way of life.  I feel fortunate that I was able to get an advanced degree from here,” he says.  “Any little bit that I can do to pass that opportunity on to others is important to me.”

“Plus, I don’t need much of an excuse to come to campus a couple of times per year.  Notre Dame is a great place to recharge and reflect on the important things in life.”

Iwanski is a Colonel in the United States Army Reserves and serves as the Chair of the Finance Committee at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Atlanta (not the Basilica at Notre Dame).