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Kris McMasters

Kris McMasters

Former CEO | CliftonLarsonAllen | Class of 1978

Neither rain nor sleet nor snow was going to keep Kris McMasters ('78) away from her 8 a.m. accounting class junior year at David Kinley Hall, as grueling a trudge as it was many mornings. 

That includes one particularly nasty day that the first female CEO of a top 25 accounting firm won't soon forget.

“It was in the middle of winter, and I had a long walk down Green Street — from my apartment to David Kinley Hall. I got ready as normal, not paying attention to the weather," she says.

"I started walking, went a couple of blocks and literally thought I was going to die. It was freezing — the wind was blowing me literally off the sidewalk, but I kept going, stopping in the doorways of some of the shops along the way to get a break.

“I was nearly to DKH and thought it was odd I didn’t see anybody else on the street — including any cars — but I kept going. I had to get to class.

"All of a sudden, a car comes and it’s my two roommates. They stop the car and yell at me to get in and tell me the U of I is closed today — the first time in the history of the university — because of the extreme weather.

“Now, that’s real dedication, as well as stupidity," says McMasters, now an Idaho-based consultant.