Dear Accountancy Alumni:
We are excited to begin this spring semester at the Patterson School of Accountancy. Prospects are outstanding, and enrollment is at an all-time high with 747 current students. This total includes 643 in our undergraduate program and 104 graduate students.
Our faculty continue to make an impact on our students and the profession, and they are critically important to us. Our mission includes teaching, research and service, and I believe our faculty perform very well in all three of these areas. We remain tremendously committed to teaching and being a student-oriented school. As evidence of this commitment, we currently have 11 tenure-track faculty members, and, remarkably, four of the 11 have won the Elsie M. Hood universitywide outstanding teaching award. This is no small feat given that, while hundreds of faculty members across campus are eligible for it, only one Hood award is given each year.
We continue to be proud of — and humbled by — the generosity of our alumni. We are so grateful for Mr. Lucian Minor, a 1937 graduate of the accountancy program. Lucian and his wife, Mary, recently provided us with a $1 million gift in the form of a charitable remainder annuity trust, which we plan to use for a faculty endowment. Lucian has been one of our most faithful supporters over the years, and we appreciate so much his exemplary commitment to the Patterson School.
We are also proud of the successes of our students and the ongoing development of our academic programs. The senior-year internship program continues to help define our undergraduate program. Approximately half of our seniors participate in this wonderful learning opportunity. Entering its fifth year, we have now placed students in 50 different firms or companies across 13 states, Washington, D.C., and two foreign countries. In spring 2008, we have 68 students participating in internships, including one student currently interning in London.
The Patterson School generates visibility for The University of Mississippi on a national basis. We have recently learned that, for the third consecutive year, the Ole Miss accountancy program is nationally ranked. This year, all three of our programs (undergraduate, graduate and doctoral) are among the top 30 in the nation. In addition, the National Library of the Accounting Profession (the former AICPA library), which is housed here on campus, was featured in the August 2007 issue of the Journal of Accountancy. This publication has a circulation of more than 350,000, so this feature article provided tremendous national recognition for the Patterson School.
Please visit us when you are on campus. Mark your calendar for Accountancy Weekend, which is scheduled for April 24-26, 2008. The weekend begins with our Accountancy Awards Banquet on Thursday, April 24, and coincides with Oxford’s Double Decker Arts Festival and a home baseball series against the Arkansas Razorbacks. You will be receiving a brochure with the schedule of events very soon. We had a great turnout last year and hope you will plan to be a part of the event this year.
We consider it a true privilege to serve you and our students. Your involvement and support are immeasurably important to us. We depend on you to reward our faculty and to attract bright new students. We have set a goal this year to significantly increase the number of accountancy alums who provide support to the school, and we hope you will help us in this endeavor. We appreciate so much your past support of our efforts in the Patterson School and trust that you will remain committed to these efforts.
W. Mark Wilder
Interim Dean and KPMG Professor