Matching Fund Honors Peerless Mentor

Matching Fund Honors Accounting Professor

As a teacher, a dynamic and creative administrator, a mentor, and a tireless fundraiser, professor emerita of accounting Helen Gernon has made her mark—and then some—at the Lundquist College and the University of Oregon.

If you were an undergraduate accounting major at the Lundquist College at any time from 1978 through 2006, the odds are good that Gernon touched your life. If you are a graduate of the college's Master of Accounting program—founded in 1999 by Gernon and directed by her through 2005—her work has been a decisive force behind your career.

In her nearly three decades at the college, Gernon's drive and passion inspired thousands of students. Even after her official retirement, Gernon has continued to work on behalf of the Department of Accounting, raising money through the Accounting Circle alumni network she founded.

Now, with the help of alumni like you, a new fund will extend Gernon's influence to the next generations of accounting students.

Alumni Inspiration Sparks New Initiative

It all started last summer, when Daniel Bayley "04, MActg '05, and Erik Parrish "03, MActg '04, approached Lundquist College with a bold proposal. They wanted to honor Gernon in a way that would reflect her commitment to teaching excellence.

Bayley and Parrish's idea became the basis of the Helen Gernon Accounting Faculty Endowment Fund. With a goal of $1 million, the fund is dedicated to attracting and retaining top-notch tenure-track faculty to the department's programs. (The Gernon Fund is a standalone effort and is separate from the Accounting Circle's existing fundraising initiatives.)

Anonymous Donor Doubles the Funding

But the story doesn't end there. With a breadth of ambition that reflects its namesake, the fund has grown in scope in just a few short months.

Inspired by Bayley and Parrish's efforts, an anonymous donor created a matching gift of $1 million. Any gift made between now and July 2016 will be matched dollar for dollar. The donor will also provide four years of matching funds for any annual gift pledges of $1,500 or more that are made before July 2016.

What's so important about adding new tenure-track faculty? It's a simple matter of supply and demand.

The number of the department's tenure-track positions has stayed the same since 1983. In the same time period, however, student enrollment has increased by 35 percent. To maintain the momentum that has kept our accounting program among the top on the West Coast, we must grow the ranks of our excellent faculty and provide the resources that keep them here.

Please consider making a gift or annual pledge to the Gernon Fund. It's a simple but powerful way for you to show what Gernon's dedication, energy, and tireless work has meant to your life. When you give, you gain the satisfaction of knowing that your generosity will reverberate through the decades as it reaches new generations of accounting students.

Support the Helen Gernon Accounting Faculty Excellence Fund

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Find Out More about the Fund (PDF)