Visionary    I     Trailblazer     I     Mentor


75th Anniversary Celebration

The Nation's First African-American Female CPA! 

“When we think about how hard it must have been for her to break through the barriers she faced and still succeed in becoming a CPA, we should all celebrate her spirit, drive and determination as a true trailblazer,” said Todd Shapiro, President & CEO of the Illinois CPA Society. “Her passion and devotion to others’ development serve as a cornerstone for changing the diversity of our profession – and while there is still much work that needs to be done, we are proud to have her as an inspiration and a powerful example to follow.” 


Mary T. Washington Wylie, CPA

A native of Chicago, Mrs. Washington Wylie earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University. In 1939, when virtually no firms would hire African-Americans or females, let alone an African-American female, she began her own firm in a basement on the South Side of Chicago. She fostered the development of young African-American CPAs who needed to serve apprenticeships to earn their CPA licenses. Aspiring young accountants would move across the country to have the opportunity to work for her. She set an example by creating opportunities for others and by generously supporting their careers. To learn more about her, check out this article from INSIGHT magazine. 



Mary T. Washington Wylie Opportunity Fund

  • As a tribute to her legacy, the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois' Mary T. Washington Wylie Opportunity Fund was founded by Lester H. McKeever Jr. in 2006.
  • This Fund offers the community an opportunity to get involved in promoting diversity and strengthening the accounting profession. 
  • Donations currently support the Society's nationally acclaimed Mary T. Washington Wylie Internship Preparation Program. This annual program prepares up to 25 African American and other minority students for accounting internships with access to training, resources and mentors. Additionally, all participants receive a $500 scholarship to help with educational expenses.  

MTWW LaSalle St Banner 4

75th Anniversary Celebration

We are thrilled to announce, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has signed a proclamation declaring September 30, 2018 to be Mary T. Washington Wylie day in Chicago! Along with the proclamation, the Illinois CPA Society has placed anniversary celebration street banners along LaSalle St and Jackson Blvd. 

To mark the occasion and honor a true pioneer in the accounting profession, we ask for your support to the Mary T. Washington Wylie Opportunity Fund.