News from the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy

 

Strategic Giving


Zack Harrington

Approaching the end of Mississippi State University’s Infinite Impact campaign, the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy continues to advance the University’s $1 billion effort. Our $10 million Strategic Initiative in Accounting continues to see tremendous momentum. We owe a thank you to all our alumni and friends who remain committed to program enhancements, faculty support and student scholarships. Here, we highlight gifts from two of our Advisory Council members.

Zack Harrington

Approaching the end of Mississippi State University’s Infinite Impact campaign, the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy continues to advance the University’s $1 billion effort. Our $10 million Strategic Initiative in Accounting continues to see tremendous momentum. We owe a thank you to all our alumni and friends who remain committed to program enhancements, faculty support and student scholarships. Here, we highlight gifts from two of our Advisory Council members.

Susan Bell Morris

Two faculty fellowships created by Susan Bell Morris, a partner for Ernst & Young LLP, will further ASAC and the College of Business. The Susan Bell Morris Endowed Faculty Fellowship will support a deserving faculty member who is female or diverse in terms of race or ethnicity. Additionally, the Larry W. Bell Memorial Endowed Faculty Fellowship, which honors the legacy of Susan’s late father, will support faculty focused on accounting systems, tools and analytics.

“Faculty fellowships like the ones I established become key components of the circle of life that I see in a university,” says Morris. “My hope is that the Adkerson School will focus the fellowships on key needs that help differentiate our school and best support our students and curriculum with broad impact.”

As an Advisory Council member, Morris learned of the need for faculty fellowships and believed this would be a fitting and lasting tribute to her father, who enjoyed an over 32-year career as Building Director and Civil Defense Director for the City of Starkville. Larry Bell was also co-founder and Secretary of the Mississippi Building Officials Association and President of the Southern Building Codes Congress International board.

At the heart of the father-daughter bond for Bell and Morris was a great affection for Mississippi State, where Morris earned an accounting degree in 1984, and her father earlier earned a 1965 general business degree. They even shared some of the same professors, albeit 20 years apart.

Larry Bell was well known as a member of the East Mississippi Community College board and for his 54 years of service with the Mississippi High School Activities Association. He passionately coached and officiated sports.

“I think my Dad would be proud to know that his memory lives on through education and helping students succeed,” said Morris. “He made a positive difference in the lives of his six children, my son and his 15 other grandchildren (half of whom attended MSU), and I think he’d like the idea that the fellowship in his name focuses on faculty who can influence the lives of many young people.”

Mike McIlwain

Born to Starkville natives, Mike McIlwain grew up with a great affection for the town and for Mississippi State. Now, a new gift from the alumnus and his wife, Susan, will cement his family’s Bulldog legacy as it furthers an earlier endowed scholarship and creates an excellence fund, both in the Adkerson School of Accountancy.

“I want to further my university’s growing reputation for having an exceptional accounting school with emerging national potential,” McIlwain states. “Professor Shawn Mauldin’s strategic plan as director is what I support, and I am behind his innovative vision for the School by providing financial resources for its pursuits.”

The McIlwains initially established the Joseph Watt McIlwain Scholarship in memory of Mike’s dad. The first of seven siblings to attend college, Joe Watt McIlwain graduated from MSU in 1962 and 1972 with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial arts education. He was a successful teacher and athletic director at Pahokee High School in Florida, where he and his wife, Bess McIlwain Stacy, raised Mike and his two brothers.

“In following in my dad’s footsteps by attending MSU, I got the basis for my career, and I hope to provide that same great foundation for others through the scholarship,” says McIlwain, a 1987 accounting graduate. “Furthermore, as the proud parents of five children, Susan and I find ourselves passionate about helping educate the youth of our nation.”

The scholarship benefits accounting students who are minoring in entrepreneurship. The first recipients, Ann Marie Ory and Aimee Garnier, received $1,000 each toward their academic pursuits. More McIlwain scholars will follow in the coming years.

Mike McIlwain is President and CEO of PSAV, a company known internationally for event technology services within the hotel, resort and conference center industry. He has served as a speaker for the College’s Seal lecture series and been named one of its Top 100 alumni and its 2017 Alumni Fellow.  For McIlwain, becoming a Bulldog was inevitable because of passionate family ties, and he works hard to remain an ambassador for the University.

Recently, the McIlwains further exemplified their generosity by supporting McCool Hall renovations, helping us provide first class facilities to our students, faculty, alumni and friends. It is because of supporters like these that we see a bright future within the Adkerson School of Accountancy and College of Business.

As you can see, many exciting things are happening, and with that comes many more opportunities to give. Our alumni and friends continue to find creative ways to make a lasting impact at Mississippi State University. I encourage each of you who might be interested in supporting our Strategic Initiative in Accounting to contact me or Jana Berkery, Assistant Director of Development, at 662-325-1888.

Thanks so much for supporting Mississippi State University and the Adkerson School of Accountancy.

Sincerely,

Zack Harrington
Director of Development, MSU College of Business