Ernst & Young Fund

Tom Hough, Shirley Edwards, Robert Brown, Fran Randall, and Dan Lasik
From left: Tom Hough and Shirley Edwards of Ernst & Young, ACIS department head Robert Brown, and Fran Randall and Dan Lasik, of Ernst & Young.

Nine alumni have together pledged $190,000 to the Department of Accounting and Information Systems to endow a fund named for their employer, Ernst & Young, which is expected to match their gifts dollar for dollar, bringing the total to $380,000.

The Ernst & Young Partners Fund for Excellence in Accounting and Information Systems reflects the strong relationship between the department and that “big-four” accounting firm, says Robert Brown, department head and R.B. Pamplin Professor.

“To get a gift of this magnitude for the department speaks in a lot of ways to how they regard us and our future,” he says.

Ernst & Young has consistently been one of the top-10 employers of Pamplin graduates, according to postgraduate surveys of undergraduate degree recipients from 2005 to 2009.

Sending faculty members to conferences and student organizations to national meetings are a couple of examples of activities the fund could support, Brown says, adding that the gift “will allow us to do things in the department that we couldn’t do otherwise.”

The effort to establish the fund was led by Shirley Edwards (ACCT ’82), of Sandy Springs, Md., who is an assurance managing partner for Ernst & Young.

The creation of the Ernst & Young Partners Fund was announced during a company visit in March at which Edwards and other executives — including Tom Hough, a vice chairman — spoke to a capacity crowd of students in the Holtzman Alumni Center’s largest conference room.

“It’s also very generous of them to share their time and expertise and provide inspiration to the students,” Brown says.

Along with Edwards, the accounting graduates who pledged to support the fund are: Robert Arnall (’81), Bill Colbert (’89), Dan Knightly (’95), Daniel Lasik (’86), George Manners (’92), Victor Vecchiariello (’93), Timothy Winder (’87), and Maurice Fingeret (’79).

Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Magazine Spring 2010

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