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Accountancy receives $1 million

July 8th, 2013

Ten former students – along with their spouses – have partnered together to honor a legendary NIU faculty member and its nationally ranked accountancy program. The commitments made by these individuals will establish the Donald E. Kieso Endowed Chair in Accountancy, forever linking the Kieso name and legacy to NIU.

This partnership reflects the group’s deep pride in the Department of Accountancy and Peat Marwick Emeritus Professor of Accountancy Don Kieso – who made an indelible impact in the lives of his students . . . . and in the lives of accounting professionals around the world. With more than $1 million already secured, additional commitments are being sought to raise the total endowment to a minimum of $1.5 million.

Many of Don Kieso’s former students share that the long-time Northern Illinois University professor “wrote the book” – literally and figuratively – for the accountancy program at NIU. His intermediate accounting textbook (co-authored with former student Jerry Weygandt) is now in its fourteenth edition. It has been the world-wide market leader for more than two decades, has been translated into more than a dozen languages, and is used in colleges and universities around the world.

Equally as impressive, however, was Kieso’s ability to connect with his students and assist with their transition from the university to the accounting profession. “Whether I’m talking to an accountancy alumnus, faculty, or a business professional, it is rare when I don’t hear a story about how Don Kieso has significantly impacted a life,” said Denise Schoenbachler, Dean of the NIU College of Business. “His influence on the college and on the accounting profession remains to this day, and this endowed chair ensures that his legacy of excellence will be forever present at NIU.”

Kieso came to NIU in 1963. During his 29 years as a faculty member and department chair, he helped transform the Department of Accountancy into a national leader. Under Kieso’s leadership, NIU accountancy students placed first in pass rates on the CPA exam in 1985, and since then the accountancy program and its students CPA pass rates have continually ranked in the top 25 in the nation. He also established one of the first accountancy internship programs in the country, placing more than 600 accountancy students in internships that many alumni credit with launching their professional careers.

According to Department of Accountancy Chair Jim Young, the endowed chair – the first-ever for the College of Business – will aid in the recruitment of a talented faculty member to NIU while protecting the legacy of the accountancy program.

“I’ve often talked about the importance of protecting our legacy and securing our future,” said Young. “This endowed chair accomplishes both of those objectives. In today’s higher education environment, and especially in accounting, top faculty are in high demand. The prestige associated with an endowed chair will help us recruit a preeminent faculty member and ensure the legacy of excellence Don helped establish at NIU.”

The university community extends its deep gratitude to the following donors whose generosity made this achievement possible. These individuals will be forever linked to the Kieso legacy at NIU.

Gary (B.S. 1976) and Mary Burge

Kevin (B.S. 1976) and Roberta Cleary

Chris (B.S. 1975) and Tim Cole

Ralph (E.M.B.A.1989) and Maria de la Vega

Dean (B.S. 1964, M.S. 1969) and Brenda DuCray

Jeff (B.S. 1974) and Doreen Eckmann

Paul (B.S. 1976) and Karen (B.S. 1976) Keglevic

Bill (B.S. 1965) and Paula (B.S. 1966) LeRoy

Robert (B.S. 1978) and Debra (B.S. 1978) (Distel) Peterson

Jerry and Enid Weygandt

For more information on how to join this group of donors, please contact Anthony D’Andrea at (815) 753-1736 or adandrea@niu.edu.