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Leavey School of Business Santa Clara University
Department ofAccounting

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Accounting Professor Lucky Eames Head Shot

Accounting Professor Lucky Eames Head Shot

Our Renaissance Man Opens Another Chapter

Congratulations and best wishes to Professor Michael "Lucky" Eames on his retirement. We will miss him and are thankful he will continue his work with the CAAP program.

One of the most striking things about Professor Michael (Lucky) Eames is that no matter what the subject is, from salmon to septic tanks, he knows something about it, often quite a lot. Not in a ‘know-it-all’ way, but with a contagious enthusiasm for knowledge about almost everything.

And unlike most of us, Lucky enjoyed an entire nonfinancial career before becoming an accountant. Although his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley is in business, he fell in love with wildlife management when he took a class for pleasure and said “Man, this is fun”.  That comment started him in a graduate program in Wildlife Management, first at the University of Washington, where he met Lani, his wife of almost 48 years, and then at UC Berkeley.

A smiling couple poses in front of wooden doors.

For the first half (roughly) of his professional life he worked for the National Park system developing resource management plans for parks all over the western region and for the State of Washington, specializing in commercial fisheries and salmon research. Working in fisheries honed his econometric skills, as estimating salmon populations is almost as challenging as working with company data. In fact, his first academic research publication was in the Journal of the American Fisheries Society! After several years he realized that further promotion in government service would be increasingly political and it was time for a return to his original love – business. He pursued an MBA in Finance at the University of Washington and completed Washington’s accelerated accounting program. 

A couple wearing traditional clothes dance outdoors.

This resulted in a position in consulting with Price Waterhouse, where his statistical skills were again put to good use. Ultimately he opted for a Ph.D. in accounting at UW and graduated in 1995, taught for a year at UW, and then joined the Santa Clara faculty.&nbsp At SCU he specialized in teaching cost accounting and researching, primarily in the area of analyst forecasts. His publication record continued, with articles in almost all the top accounting research journals. One of the ideas with the most impact, however, was to start an accelerated accounting program at SCU – Lucky’s brainchild, the Certificate in Advanced Accounting Proficiency program (CAAP) has graduated hundreds of students with the accounting foundation needed to enter the field. Many of those people have been looking to shake up their career paths, just like Lucky did. Lucky will be continuing to work with the CAAP program.


Two smiling people holding string instruments, posing indoors against a beige wall.

Lucky and Lani will pursue their hobbies in retirement, including playing instruments (fiddle and bagpipes for Lucky, piano and nyckelharpa (aka ‘keyfiddle’) for Lani) and traveling to Sweden to take part in traditional music and dance. They also plan to spend time with sons Patrick and Peter and with their 5 grandchildren.  But who knows?  Lucky could develop an interest in almost anything and go almost anywhere. I hope he’ll keep us posted!