Photo of Accounting Circle members with the Duck

Accounting Circle Turns 20

What do leaders do when faced with a challenge? Get proactive. That's just what happened in 1997, the year the Accounting Circle was born.

Thanks to the vision of then department chair Helen Gernon and six members of her advisory board, a plan was hatched in the face of declining state support for higher education. They founded the Accounting Circle: a group of seven members who each wrote a $1,500 check to give birth to a giving club that supports accounting students and faculty.

The circle has now grown from seven to 164 members. Accounting Circle members raised $33,000 in its first year. That number in 2017 is just shy of $1 million.

On October 27, more than 60 Accounting Circle members, faculty, and staff gathered to celebrate the circle's 20th anniversary, as well as to learn from Professor Gernon herself about the arc of the circle from inception to now—a story much appreciated by members in the room, both longtime and new.

“We are so proud of the Accounting Circle community, which has expanded to include 75 different organizations," said Angela Davis, Jack O. Rickli Professor of Business and director of the School of Accounting. “We value their feedback and support and eagerly anticipate another 20 years of fruitful collaboration."

About 85 percent of School of Accounting gifts come from the Accounting Circle. Here are just a few examples of those gifts at work

  • Providing an international learning experience for our master of accounting students
  • Sponsoring our award-winning chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, giving students ample professional development opportunities
  • Funding 52 student scholarships above and beyond Lundquist College and university offerings
  • Recruiting high-quality PhD students
  • Connecting with the alumni community through networking events and one-on-one outreach.

In short, we cannot offer the quality programs that we do—nor innovate when we need to—without our Accounting Circle. Thank you to all our members for two decades of incredible growth and direct impact on student success.

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