Boston College Financial Vice President
Peter McKenzie to Retire in December
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (6-15-15)—Financial Vice President and Treasurer Peter McKenzie, who has helped guide Boston College through two-and-a-half decades of fiscal stability and unprecedented growth, has announced his plans to retire at the end of the calendar year.
McKenzie, who oversees the University offices of Controller, Budget, Procurement, Treasury & Risk Management, Financial Management Systems, Internal Audit, Auxiliary Services, Dining Services, Bookstore, Event Management, Transportation & Parking and the Boston College Police Department, said he felt the time was right to retire after successfully managing the University’s finances and investments for 25 years.
“I have greatly enjoyed my time at Boston College,” said McKenzie, a 1975 graduate who served as CFO of Tufts University before returning to his alma mater in 1990. “BC has been very good to me, but everything has to come to an end and now is as good a time as any.”
During his tenure, McKenzie, who is nationally recognized as a leader in the field of collegiate finances, was credited with establishing a disciplined fiscal approach that resulted in 25 consecutive years of balanced budgets and steady growth in endowment gains, which earned him the respect and gratitude of University leaders.
“Peter McKenzie has had an immense impact on Boston College as financial vice president and treasurer during the past 25 years,” said University President William P. Leahy, SJ. “Not only did he lead a team that skillfully managed Boston College’s finances, but he also provided valuable advice and perspective on a range of important issues requiring attention. I enjoyed working with him and will miss his experience and wisdom.”
Peter Markell, vice chairman of the Boston College Board of Trustees and executive vice president, CFO and treasurer of Partners HealthCare System, praised McKenzie for his unwavering dedication and invaluable contribution to Boston College’s success.
“Peter is a businessman’s finance guy,” said Markell. “He has the ability to see the big picture and where finances fit within, and he also has the financial discipline that enabled the University to balance its budget during some challenging economic times. The respect that the Board of Trustees has for him is obvious. Boston College is fortunate to have had him as financial vice president during these past 25 years.”
McKenzie, who has steadfastly avoided the limelight during his years at the Heights, said his greatest accomplishment is having built a staff that performs well in difficult situations and supports each other for the sake of Boston College. “I am fortunate to have had really great people who worked well together to get things done,” he said. “To see how the staff performs in challenging situations is the part of my job that makes me most proud.”
In addition to helping grow the University's total assets from $652 million in 1990 to $4.3 billion today, McKenzie is credited with assisting in the negotiation for the acquisition of the Brighton Campus from the Archdiocese of Boston, and working with other vice presidents to promote employee wellness, energy conservation programs and procurement initiatives in technology, energy and printing that resulted in significant University savings. He also is one of the original founders of the Boston Consortium for Higher Education, a collaborative association of area colleges and universities that has provided enhanced buying power and significant savings in health care, energy costs and equipment purchases for member institutions.
“Peter is very well known across the higher education sector, and is often approached for advice and perspective,” said Boston Consortium Managing Director Phil DiChiara. “Lots of talented individuals have broad experience and knowledge, but only a handful are capable of putting their egos aside to provide it in a collegial manner. Peter is one of those rare few. He helped put the Boston Consortium in place as a vehicle for change that can only grow more valuable over time if it maintains the principles that he so clearly articulated and practiced."
McKenzie is quick to credit the strong leadership of Fr. Leahy and Chancellor J. Donald Monan, SJ—both of whom, he says, understood finance—with steering the University to unparalleled success, and longtime trustees such as Robert J. Morrissey, senior partner of Morrissey, Hawkins & Lynch and Michael Murray, the director emeritus of McKinsey & Company, with providing invaluable guidance in financial and investment matters. He also credits Director of Administrative Services Kathy Croft for working diligently alongside him for the past 25 years, and his entire staff for doing more with fewer employees than most peer schools, which, he says, enabled the University to run as efficiently as possible.
McKenzie, however, saves his greatest praise for his wife of 39 years and BC classmate, Maureen Quinn McKenzie, with whom he shares a birthday, and their three children—Michael, Kathleen and Meghan, all of whom are BC graduates. He says he is looking forward to spending more time with his family and grandson, Patrick, and to devoting his days to his passion of furniture-making, with the ultimate goal of building lines of furniture that his daughter will paint and sell in consignment shops in Maine.
“I am fortunate because I have a great family and other things that I want to do with my life,” said McKenzie. “I am ready. It is the right time to go. The financial division and the University as a whole are in good shape, and my successor will have plenty of great talent to work with. I was able to spend 25 years working at a school that educated my father, my wife, my children and me, and leave it with no regrets. I am blessed.”
—Jack Dunn, News & Public Affairs