Athens, Ga. — Five national accounting firms have extended their annual fund support to new five-year pledges to the Tull School of Accounting, and a sixth is wrapping up its campaign. The committed private gifts will help fund “everything it takes to make an accounting program successful,” says school director Ben Ayers.
“These six firms are the largest employers of our students,” Ayers says. “They have a vested interest in knowing that our students are professionally prepared and ready to work at a high level after graduation.”
|Dixon Hughes Goodman||$250,000|
|Ernst & Young||$1,000,000|
National accounting firms have a long tradition of giving back to the schools from which they recruit new hires, and many of them match their employees’ annual gifts. But the five-year pledge is a new twist on an old custom.
“Longer-term commitments allow the Tull School to plan more strategically beyond the next budget cycle and tie those plans to the financial resources that will support our success,” Ayers says. “It’s become necessary because state funding used to cover our operating budget for the entire year, but that’s no longer the case.”
Ayers says money from the pledged gifts will be used where it is most needed, within the school’s discretion, to support faculty research, fund undergraduate and graduate scholarships, sponsor research colloquia, pay for instructional software, supplement student organizations, and add to current endowment accounts.
The campaign drives – which were led by alumni in some cases – elicited another pleasant surprise. Even when averaged out over five years, the level of annual giving by alumni increased.
Growing the amount of Ernst & Young’s annual giving “shows the great love that our people have for UGA,” says John Schraudenbach, a partner in E&Y’s Atlanta office who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Tull School. “Being graduates of the University of Georgia has provided so many opportunities for our professionals to develop great careers. Giving back feels like absolutely the right thing to do.
“UGA is one of the top 15 schools for our firm nationally in terms of hiring,” Schraudenbach said. “And our ability to give money to the school to help it grow and improve will do nothing but help Terry provide the great professionals we need to succeed.”
“We have very close relationships within the accounting profession, and we’re thankful for that,” Ayers adds. “Our alumni recognize the importance of their degrees to their career success.”