The Success Story of Bill Lynn '74
"Some people have successful careers. Others have success in personal life. Some people are successful in love. I have been fortunate enough to enjoy all three! Sure, I went on to other institutions after MacMurray but Mac was instrumental in preparing me for what lay ahead. Mac gave me a well rounded background to succeed in graduate school and my career. It’s no accident that three of us from Mac ended up in classes together at Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Perhaps most important of all, I met my wife and soul mate at MacMurray."
Bill Lynn graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in economics and business at MacMurray in 1974. During his time at Mac, Bill received several awards including the Order of the Tartan, the Wendell S. Dysinger Award and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges. Bill was also senior class president as well as chairman of special events and homecoming committees.
After graduation, Bill was offered a full-time position at Means Services, Inc., a linen supply company where he had worked as a management trainee during his time at MacMurray. This position lead to his transfer to Chicago in 1976 where he attended Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and later graduated with his masters in business administration in 1979. In 1981, Lynn earned his CPA. That same year he was elected by Means to the position of assistant treasurer; becoming, at age 29, the youngest officer of Means.
As a result of Means being acquired by ARA Service in 1982, Bill assumed additional responsibilities as regional controller for the Means Division. In 1985, he joined the treasury department of Montgomery Ward & Company as banking manager where he became responsible for transactions and banking relations with over 730 U.S. and foreign banks. During the next six years at Montgomery Ward, Bill rose to the position of assistant treasurer, responsible for the investment management of Ward’s $1.1 billion pension and savings plans as well as all corporate insurance. Bill was also a board member of Ward’s subsidiary bank and responsible for its FDIC financial reporting.
Meanwhile, Bill’s love for Triumph sports cars, which started while a student at MacMurray, led him to start a side business of manufacturing Triumph sports car parts, and to open a British sports car restoration shop.
Bill served two terms on the MacMurray Alumni Board, and assisted with several MacMurray Alumni Board events including the Chicago “Mac Night Out” Committee in 1983 and 1984. He was also a member of the Illinois CPA Society, National Corporate Cash Managers Association, Risk & Insurance Management Society, and Chicago Pension Investment Management Society.
Then the unimaginable happened! In 1991, at age 39, Bill suffered a massive stroke which left him paralyzed, from the neck down. That was 18 years ago, but the story doesn’t end there. Although his life direction changed 180 degrees, Bill retained his sense of humor and never looked back. He was determined to make some sort of contribution to society. Bill volunteers about 30 hours per week as membership secretary for the 2,600 member national Vintage Triumph Register, and is the treasurer of the local road association. He has written technical articles on Triumph sports car originality and restoration.
He currently resides in Riverwoods, Illinois with his wife Joanna Guyton Lynn ’76. They have two children, Kristina and Bradley.