Alumni Profile: Dan Maher ’76
Brother Dan Maher, a graduate from 1976, credits his years as a Delta Chi at the University of Michigan as some of the most formative times in his life.
Maher’s positive experience started early on; he rushed during his freshman year and lived in the house for the remaining three years of his time at Michigan. Moving into the house was a welcome break from the dorms for Maher, who grew up with five siblings (four of whom were brothers). Living in the quiet, contained dorms proved too isolating and suffocating, and he missed the commotion that came along with being a part of a big family. Maher found this family in Delta Chi and 1705 Hill Street.
When Maher joined Delta Chi he had reached an important point in his life. What followed was a time period that was both positive and developmental. During his undergraduate years, he learned who he was as a person and what he was good at. Delta Chi, and Maher’s experiences there, shaped him, helping him grow and develop his professional strengths. According to Brother Maher, this developmental period is one of the most important factors in being successful. He says that as undergraduates, “You need to find a profession or role or job that you like. That will help you develop a passion for it. This passion gives you the best chance of maximizing your talents and maximizing your ability to produce.”
Maher warns younger brothers to be cautious when deciding who you are and what you want to be: “Even when you think you have it figured out, something is most likely going to change. When this happens, you need to be able to reassess and revaluate.”
This skill of being able to reassess and revaluate is one of the reasons Dan Maher has been so successful professionally. Maher started working for Deloitte, LLP immediately after graduation and has continued to work there for the past 38 years. He has been a tax partner with Deloitte for the last 28 of those years. His job has evolved so much over the years that Maher has been faced with many different challenges, including learning the complex technical issues of taxation, learning how to supervise and motivate people, advising a wide variety of client personalities and businesses and determining how to develop and lead a team.
Something else that has evolved during his years at Deloitte is Brother Maher’s relationship with his clients. He explains that you should understand the business of your client and what they are trying to accomplish — you have to understand how they view their world and what is important to them. This is true of any leadership position, even in the fraternity. Eventually, rather than giving a client purely technical answers, you need to look through the eyes of the client and provide advice to them in terms that they can understand and act on.
Dan Maher was very active during his undergraduate years. He held the positions of Recording Secretary and Treasurer. During his tenure as Recording Secretary, Maher is convinced that he holds the record for the most cryptic and short chapter meeting minutes. He shared a story about a particular meeting where the chapter president at the time spent a good 10 minutes pleading and exhorting the actives of the chapter for involvement and action on some urgent matter. Maher managed to encapsulate this entire plea into one sentence, a short one at that. When the president reviewed the draft minutes he inquired of Brother Maher, “These minutes are amazing, I sure thought I said more than that.” The minutes went out as drafted.
In addition to the positions he held within the fraternity, Brother Maher was a member of all the Delta Chi Michigan intramural sports teams, due mostly to the fact that, with only 16 actives, every breathing body was needed. His long-time roommate (and future best man at his wedding), Ron Scafe ‘77, even convinced him to serve as goalie on the water polo squad– this despite the fact that he couldn’t tread water longer than a few seconds at a time. When asked about his marginal athletic abilities, Maher proclaims with a smile, “I was ‘All-Delta Chi’ in every sport.”
Brother Maher has been an asset to our chapter both as an undergraduate and an alumnus. Though he may not live in the house anymore, he feels that Delta Chi gave him a lifetime connection to the school and a place to always come back to- a feeling we can all relate to, especially now in the last days of Venerable 1705. Dan Maher would love to get back in touch with and see any and all of his contemporary brothers. A few that have been AWOL for a while include Mark DeLange ’75, Rob Vonderhaar ‘75, most of the ROTC crew and the Front Triple Guys: Harry, Larry, and Randy.
The following is an update in February 2021 from Dan.
Marilyn and I are working on our 34th year of marital bliss. Our two kids are mostly grown and out of the house, and we are patiently waiting for them to develop into the successful superstars we know they will surely become.
I retired from Deloitte Tax in 2016, after 40 years. I currently am teaching part-time at Oakland University. I teach Introductory Accounting to the freshmen newbies in the Winter term and Tax Research as well as Corporate Tax in the Fall to 4th and 5th year students. I do my best to torture the most recent generation of business school wannabes with tales of “how the world really works”.
When I find an interesting course in the Political Science or History sections, I sign up as a student. I sit in a class with students young enough to be my grandkids, and I listen to a professor about the age of my children. Funny thing is, the other students talk among themselves like I’m not even there, it’s amazing what you pick up as a fly on the wall when you aren’t seen.
I have served on the board of Catholic Charities for the last 20+ years, that’s the agency through which we adopted our 2 kids. I also serve on our Clinton Township Ethics Board.
Otherwise, I busy myself with bi-monthly meetings of the subdivision cigar-smoking club, working out at LA Fitness, bowling at the DAC (for the last 40 years, and I’m still somewhere in the lousy to average group), boating on Lake St. Clair (just swapped my 31 foot Carver for a 350 Formula Crossover BowRider), and the occasional golf outing.
Still have my UM football season tickets, although I must admit, I’ve departed the Jim Harbaugh Fan Club, and am now waiting for the university to grow some —-s and fire the guy (Warde Manual has proven he has none of that manly stuff required to do the job.) On the other hand, I be lovin’ me some Juwan and the basketball program. What a performance against the Buckeyes on the national stage last Sunday!
Hoping to hear from the rest of youse guys. [email protected]