KPMG establishes professorship in accountancy
by Sonia Thompson
Big Four accounting firm KPMG, LLP, has established the KPMG Professorship in Accountancy at The University of Mississippi.
In 2002, several KPMG partners established a lectureship in accountancy, a position that requires a $250,000 commitment. Now, KPMG partners and other employees have committed to growing the fund to more than $500,000 to establish a full professorship.
“We understand the goals and objectives of the Patterson School of Accountancy, and we’re happy to step it up and continue our support,” said Matt Lusco (BBA 79), managing partner in the Memphis and Birmingham KPMG offices. “We benefit a lot from the outstanding talent that’s available to us, and we hire a number of Ole Miss graduates in many of our offices around the country. We’re proud of our partnership with the Patterson School and hope to keep growing this position until it reaches the endowed chair level.”
Besides financial support, KPMG has granted the Patterson School “premier” status. This KPMG designation is given to 40 schools nationwide for placing high-achieving students in KPMG International’s member firm offices.
“We are especially grateful to KPMG for this generous gift to the Patterson School of Accountancy,” said Wendell Weakley, president of The University of Mississippi Foundation. “KPMG is a longtime supporter of the Patterson School, and many of our graduates go on to rewarding careers with the firm. Clearly, KPMG is committed to helping provide our students with the best accounting education possible.”
The current holder of the KPMG Professorship is Mark Wilder, who is also dean of the Patterson School.
Professorships, endowed chairs and other esteemed positions are usually held by faculty members whose accomplishments indicate national and international leadership in their fields. Typically, the faculty member’s efforts are focused on enhancing teaching skills and establishing superior records of research or other scholarly activity.
“I am honored to hold the KPMG Professorship,” Wilder said. “Our undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs are all ranked among the top 30 in the nation, and KPMG’s support will enable us to continue our tremendous success. We have a great partnership with KPMG. We are especially grateful to our alumni with the firm, not only for their financial support but also for hiring our students and enabling us to achieve ‘premier’ school status.”
Wilder, who has taught at UM since 1993, is a certified public accountant whose primary teaching experience is in financial accounting. He has conducted research in a variety of areas, including earnings forecasting, financial reporting and issues facing the profession.
Wilder is actively involved in university and professional service. He served a term as president of the Northeast Chapter of the Mississippi Society of CPAs, and he recently completed a two-year term on the MSCPA Board of Governors. In 2005, he received the campuswide Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher Award, the highest teaching honor for UM faculty.
Like Lucian Minor’s recent gift (see Page 1), KPMG’s gift is part of the university’s MomentUM Campaign, a four-year initiative to raise $200 million.