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Gifts from Accounting Firm Support Scholarships and Faculty Development at Appalachian State University

Jan. 9, 2013. Gifts totaling $94,900 have been made by the accounting firm of Dixon Hughes Goodman to Appalachian State University’s Walker College of Business. The gifts provide continuing support of the college’s Department of Accounting, discretionary funds available to the dean of the college, and have established the Dixon Hughes Goodman/Brooks Ferrell Memorial Scholarship endowment fund.

“With this down economy, we are well aware of the fact that Appalachian and other state supported institutions have had significant budget cuts and they need us more than ever,” said Eddie Sams, former chairman of Dixon Hughes Goodman. “Universities and the accounting programs in business schools perpetuate our profession. If we are not healthy and robust and doing the best we can at the campus level, then all of our firms will suffer and the profession will suffer.”

The accounting firm’s annual $25,000 gift to the Department of Accounting funds a Dixon Hughes Goodman Research Fellows award presented to a faculty member in the department as well as scholarships for accounting majors.

 “The research award enables a faculty member to forego summer teaching and focus on research and remain current in the field,” said department chairman Dr. Timothy Forsyth. Priority is given to faculty members who are in process of earning tenure, but it also may be awarded to senior faculty to support their research activities. “Dixon Hughes Goodman has been very generous to our department in the last decade with these annual gifts. We truly appreciate what they do for us,” Forsyth said. 

The Dixon Hughes Goodman/Brooks Ferrell Memorial Scholarship was created through a $27,500 contribution. The endowed scholarship was established in honor of the late son of David and Pam Ferrell. David Ferrell, a 1982 graduate from accounting program in the Walker College of Business, is a partner with Dixon Hughes Goodman.  The scholarship will be awarded annually to an accounting student.

A total of $42,400 was earmarked for the Walker College of Business Dean’s Club. “Dixon Hughes Goodman’s support of the Dean’s Club provides much needed funding for critical needs in the college that aren’t supported by state funds,” said Dr. Randy Edwards, dean of the college. “Contributions such as this help ensure the college’s ability to provide scholarships to deserving business students, fund faculty and student travel to professional conferences, support student travel to corporate worksites, the New York Stock Exchange and Wall Street, and support development of new international study abroad opportunities for our students.”

The contribution to the Dean’s Club was made possible by donations from DHG professionals, most of whom are graduates of the Walker College of Business. The accounting firm matched their donations.  

“One of the things that the firm did well over a year ago was to put in place a program that matches gifts employees make to their alma mater,” Sams said. “Part of what I have been working on with others is doing our best to get our employees and professionals and partners in the DHG family connected back to their schools,” he said. “If we want to continue to recruit well at Appalachian and other schools, the more our own people buy into the program, show up on campus, be visible and help sell the firm, the better off we will be in our recruitment efforts.”

Dixon Hughes Goodman, the largest CPA firm headquartered in the Southeast, is a major employer of Appalachian accounting graduates and provides internships to accounting students. At present, nearly 70 Appalachian graduates work for the accounting firm. 

Sams said that while no profession is recession proof, the job market for accounting graduates remains strong. “If a student likes people, business and the intellectual environment of a CPA firm, it’s a good place to be,” Sams said. “When you choose this major, if you will get that CPA certificate and take advantage of it, you will not need to worry financially. You only have to decide what you want to do and how far you want to go. There will always be a demand.” 

The Department of Accounting offers the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (B.S.B.A.) degree and the Master of Science (M.S.) degree in accounting. The department enrolls more than 400 students in its undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Graduates of the program consistently exceed the national average on the CPA exam. Graduates are recruited by the largest international, national and regional accounting firms as well as local accounting firms, industry and government agencies. 

About Dixon Hughes Goodman

With more than 1,700 people in 30 offices in 11 states, Dixon Hughes Goodman is the largest certified public accounting firm headquartered in the Southern U.S. and the 14th largest in the nation. In addition to comprehensive accounting and advisory services, the firm focuses on eight major industries and serves clients internationally and in all 50 states. Visit www.dhgllp.com for additional information.