Western Carolina University – Dixon Hughes Goodman’s unwavering support for accounting students continues
By Geoff Cantrell
Western Carolina University’s Dixon Hughes Goodman Accountancy Program recently reached a milestone with its namesake benefactor.
Thanks to the generosity of alumni at the accounting firm, a pledge of $ 1 million was not only kept, but exceeded in just six years after it was made.
In 2015, WCU graduates working for the firm – 50 at the time – announced that they were coming together to unite their support for the success of accounting students. “WCU’s legacy of developing leaders in accounting and business is very important to me as many of our partners, employees and clients have graduated from the program,” said Ken Hughes, 1974 graduate and co-founder. of the company. “I hope that DHG’s donation will help ensure the sustainability of qualified professionals in the accounting profession for many years to come.
Donations and gifts would make possible a variety of initiatives in their alma mater, including scholarships, internship assistance and support for participation in academic competitions and research, professional development programs, summer studies and scholarships. The community, in turn, would also benefit from the program’s top-notch graduates, emerging leaders, and dedicated civic engagement.
The university later renamed the accounting program in recognition of the company’s commitment. Now known as DHG, the nationally listed company serves clients in all 50 states and internationally.
“At DHG, our goal is to improve the lives of our team members, our customers and our communities. One way to do this is to support universities like WCU, ”said CEO Matt Snow. “We believe our support helps build the future of our profession and strengthen the communities we serve. We are proud to partner with WCU in this way.
WCU’s Accounting program focuses on developing students’ knowledge of general affairs, auditing, taxation, and other accounting-related functions. The emphasis is on critical thinking and decision-making skills.
“DHG’s support has dramatically expanded our ability to provide learning experiences for undergraduate and graduate students, including professional activities here locally and abroad,” said Susan Swanger, professor of accounting at DHG accounting program.
The resources provided by the DHG Endowment have helped accounting programs help students experience accounting on the international stage. The funds have supported an international accounting course which includes a travel component to England and the Netherlands.
“Through DHG’s support for internships, office visits, leadership programs and social events, accounting students have been introduced to professional accounting staff at a wide range of career stages. They had the opportunity to interact and engage with these professionals and learn more about a career in accounting, ”said N. Leroy Kauffman, professor of accounting.
“The contribution of DHG staff has also been a critical component in helping us keep our program in step with what the profession needs from junior accountants,” he said. “They have been actively engaged on our Advisory Board, along with other accounting professionals, to provide real-world feedback on the changing demands of the profession. This is a valuable link for the accounting faculty and helps keep the program up to date.
A recent successor of the Dixon Hughes Goodman Fellowship is Heather Brady, 2019 graduate. She is now an audit associate for the Atlanta firm and volunteers as a mentor for WCU students, willing to provide guidance just like her. had been, which later helped him launch his career.
“WCU faculty and staff care about their students,” Brady said. “They always pushed me to apply for things. They were passionate about my success.