Accounting Librarian Wins International Lifetime Achievement Award

Royce Kurtz honored for his work to make materials available for researchers worldwide

The UM Patterson School of Accountancy. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Royce Kurtz, who has shaped the University of Mississippi‘s accounting library for the last 16 years, has been honored with an international award for his efforts. 

Kurtz, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants research and instruction librarian and associate professor, has won the Academy of Accounting Historians’ Hourglass Award for lifetime achievement. The first nonaccountant to win the honor in its more-than-40-year history, Kurtz works with UM’s Patterson School of Accountancy, the AICPA, the Academy of Accounting Historians and accountants around the country to make this collection the best in the world.

“Accounting tells the story of how wealth in America is created and dispersed, and this wealth is the wellspring of all other creative arts,” he said. “I thoroughly enjoy making available to both the community of scholars and practitioners the books, pamphlets, journals and manuscripts that tell the story of accounting profession, and I hope to continue this endeavor for years to come.”

The Hourglass Award is presented annually to “an individual who has made a demonstrable and significant contribution to knowledge through research and publication in accounting history,” according to the Academy of Accounting Historians. Kurtz will receive the award this month in San Diego. 

He has digitized more than 412,000 pages of historical accounting content and made these available on the library’s website for free use by anyone, anywhere in the world.

“Through the library’s digital initiatives, we are making this collection available to scholars and practitioners around the world,” Kurtz said. “I also wish to thank my colleagues in the library who have worked to process and make available this wealth of knowledge.”

The library’s website includes everything published by the AICPA, except material within the past 10 years, which is embargoed, everything ever published by Deloitte and its predecessor firms between 1895 and 2000, publications of the Academy of Accounting Historians, and other accounting-related publications that are out of copyright from 1923 and earlier.

Kurtz recently was praised by SEC Historical Society researcher and curator, George Fritz, for digitizing the materials of the Public Oversight Board. Kurtz, at the instigation of Fritz, was able to acquire the archived website of the defunct board, an independent body that oversaw the self-regulatory function of auditors of companies.

He not only copied that defunct website, but he improved upon it by adding many new items. 

Dale Flesher, a professor and associate dean of the Ole Miss accountancy school, was among those to nominate Kurtz. Flesher, who won the Hourglass Award in 2014, said Kurtz provides “extraordinary” service to students and faculty and brings world-class knowledge to his job. 

“Following the procurement of the AICPA collection, Dr. Kurtz’ clientele expanded to include thousands of accounting researchers throughout the world,” Flesher said. “He routinely fields anywhere from 500 to 900 phone calls and emails per month from accountants and accounting researchers throughout the world; many of those seeking help are interested in accounting history.

“Dr. Kurtz knows more about accounting history publications than any person alive.”

UM Accountancy School Joins Expanded KPMG Master of Accounting Program

Initiative provides full tuition and job offers for students

The KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program will offer students in the UM Patterson School of Accountancy access to full scholarships, specialized training and job offers upon graduation. Photo by Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications

NEW YORK and OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi’s Patterson School of Accountancy is joining the KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program, a one-of-a-kind initiative that audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP developed to prepare accounting students for the digital marketplace.

The expansion of the program increases the number of participating schools from two to nine, and increases the number of students from 51 to 135 who will receive full tuition, other support, and KPMG job offers upon graduation. The expansion also includes a tax component at one of the new schools in the program.

The University of Mississippi’s Patterson School of Accountancy and KPMG have enjoyed a tremendous partnership for many years,” said Mark Wilder, dean and KPMG Chair of Accountancy at UM. “We are proud to be offering master’s degrees in taxation and data analytics, as well as in accounting and data analytics. It is a high privilege to work with KPMG to provide innovative graduate programs to help develop future professionals for the data age.”

“KPMG’s expanded investment in the data and analytics program demonstrates the firm’s commitment to the future of the audit and tax professions,” said Frank Casal, KPMG’s U.S. Vice Chair – Audit. “We’re pleased to include prestigious institutions like the University of Mississippi, who share this focus and are equally passionate about their students building advanced skills in accounting, tax and data analytics that they can bring into the marketplace.”

Ole Miss also will integrate the program into its Master of Taxation degree.

“KPMG’s experience demonstrates that harnessing and analyzing the data in a company’s tax filings can create value across an entire organization,” said Jeff LeSage, KPMG’s U.S. Vice Chair – Tax. “Empowering the next generation of tax leaders to unlock those insights aligns with KPMG’s commitment to innovation and helps assure that we’ll remain at the forefront of sharing those innovations with our clients.”

In August 2016, KPMG disrupted the education and recruiting experience for the audit profession by collaborating with the Ohio State University Max M. Fisher College of Business and the Villanova School of Business to launch the KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program. Fifty-one students were accepted to the program and will begin their studies at those two schools in the fall of 2017.

KPMG’s program provides each school with access to proprietary KPMG technologies and integrates easily into their academic programs. KPMG will increase the program’s scholarships to 135 students from across the U.S. Those students will work as interns on KPMG audit or tax teams and will join KPMG’s audit or tax practices through an advanced entry program upon graduation.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers recently awarded the KPMG Master of Accounting with Data and Analytics Program its “2017 Recruiting Excellence Award,” which recognizes excellence in recruiting best practices, including attracting talent, selection process, training and development of new hires, and retention.

Those interested in learning more about the program, including how to apply, should visit A related video may be accessed at

Other schools joining the program include:

  • Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business
  • Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business
  • The University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business
  • The University of Missouri’s Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business
  • The University of Southern California, Leventhal School of Accounting
  • Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business

Globally, KPMG International’s Ireland member firm launched a similar program in March with the National University Ireland Galway, and its South Africa member firm is piloting a program at the University of Witwatersrand. Several other KPMG member firms are also pursuing additional similar relationships in their respective countries.


KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (, is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s independent member firms have 189,000 professionals, including more than 9,000 partners, in 152 countries.

About the University of Mississippi’s Patterson School of Accountancy

The University of Mississippi, affectionately known as Ole Miss, is the state’s flagship university and has a long history of producing leaders. The Patterson School of Accountancy is recognized as one of the top accounting programs nationally and produces graduates who hold leadership positions in business organizations nationally and internationally. One of the nation’s 10 fastest-growing universities, Ole Miss is known for its welcoming environment and is regularly ranked as one of America’s most beautiful and safest campuses. For more information, visit

UM Accountancy Professor Wins SEC Faculty Achievement Award

Dale Flesher is active in research, mentoring next generation of accountants

Dale L. Flesher is a respected researcher and teacher in the field of accountancy. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Dale L. Flesher, the Roland and Sheryl Burns Chair and Professor in the Patterson School of Accountancy, is the 2017 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award honoree for the University of Mississippi.

“What an honor it was to be selected from among top-notch faculty at an R1 institution,” Flesher said. “Receiving this award has provided me with more enthusiasm and energy to continue pursuing my research interests.”

To be eligible for the SEC Faculty Achievement Award, an individual must have achieved the rank of full professor at an SEC institution, have a record of extraordinary teaching and have a record of scholarship that is recognized nationally and/or internationally.

“Most of my previous honors have been awarded by organizations in the field of accounting, and it is humbling to be recognized by colleagues in your discipline,” Flesher said. “However, this award is most special because I will have the opportunity to represent all of the faculty across campus at the University of Mississippi, where I have devoted the last 40 years of my career.”

A graduate of the University of Cincinnati and Ball State University, Flesher joined the faculty in 1977. When Flesher was presented the 2005 Thomas J. Burns Biographical Research Award at the Academy of Accountant Historians Hall of Fame Conference, it was noted that “Dr. Flesher has done more biographical research and publishing than anyone in the field of accounting.”

Flesher has authored more than 400 articles in more than 100 professional journals. He has also written 50 books in 91 editions.

His numerous history books include the 50th anniversary history of the Institute of Internal Auditors and the 75th anniversary history of the American Accounting Association, as well as books on the history of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. He has had five tax books published by Commerce Clearing House, and he published a book on the history of the Ole Miss accountancy program.

Flesher has enjoyed an extraordinary 40-year career with the Patterson School of Accountancy and receiving the SEC Academic Achievement Award is a well-deserved honor, Dean Mark Wilder said.

“Dr. Flesher has served on the dissertation committees of 48 of our Patterson School Ph.D. graduates, chairing half of these dissertations,” he said. “He has made a tremendous impact on the profession through his mentorship of these doctoral graduates, many of whom are in leadership positions in academic institutions across the nation and world.

“Dr. Flesher has played a key leadership role in the successes of the Patterson School over the years and in our ability to have one of the top accountancy programs in the nation. We are honored that he has been selected for this prestigious award.”

Flesher is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Institute of CPAs, Mississippi Society of CPAs, American Taxation Association, Institute of Internal Auditors, Association of Government Accountants, Institute of Management Accountants, American Accounting Association and the Academy of Accounting Historians, which he served as international president in 1988. He served as editor of The Accounting Historians Journal from 1989 through 1994. He previously edited the Accounting Historians Notebook for 10 years.

He has received outstanding educator or outstanding researcher awards from the American Institute of CPAs, the Institute of Internal Auditors, the Academy of Accounting Historians, the Mississippi Society of CPAs and other organizations.

Flesher’s stellar reputation helped bring the American Institute of CPA’s library to the Oxford campus, creating one of the world’s best and largest accounting research resources. He was also instrumental in establishing the university’s Tax History Research Center, Electronic Data Processing Auditing Archival Center and the McMickle Rare Book Library.

The 2011 recipient of UM’s Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement Award, Flesher said he is dedicated to training the next generation of accountancy professors by mentoring graduate students in the field. The 2011 recipient of the AICPA National Outstanding Educator Award, Flesher is among only five accounting faculty from SEC institutions to receive this award throughout its 32-year history. He is associate dean of the UM School of Accountancy and coordinator of all its graduate programs.

“For 40 years now, Dr. Flesher has helped define excellence at the University of Mississippi,” Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said. “This award is another recognition of his role as an outstanding academic leader, an empowering mentor, a committed teacher and one of the most prolific contributors in his field.

“Dr. Flesher’s selection for this award contributes to the national standing of the School of Accountancy and reflects the university’s commitment to learning, discovery and engagement.”

Interim Provost Noel Wilkin agreed.

“It is a great honor for Dr. Dale Flesher to be named our recipient of the SEC Faculty Achievement Award,” he said. “This recognition is a testament to his outstanding contributions to the academy.”

Selected by a committee of SEC provosts, the SEC Faculty Achievement Awards and the SEC Professor of the Year Award are part of SECU, the academic initiative of the Southeastern Conference.

SEC Faculty Achievement Award winners get a $5,000 honorarium from the conference and become his or her university’s nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year Award. The Professor of the Year, to be named in April, receives an additional $15,000 and will be recognized at the SEC Awards dinner.

Flesher listed three possible uses for his honorarium, two of which involve donating the funds to the university.

“My wife and I have set up an endowment with the University Foundation that supports scholarships for worthy accountancy students, so some of the money may go into that endowment,” he said. Flesher’s wife, Tonya, is also an accountancy professor and a former dean of the School of Accountancy.

“Another option is to donate some of the funds to the university’s Friends of the Library program, of which my wife and I are both life members. I have been a longtime supporter of the J. D. Williams Library, perhaps even more so since it became the ‘National Library of the Accountancy Profession.’ Ole Miss has the largest accountancy library in the world, and I want to be sure it stays that way.”

Flesher said he also has considered holding out a portion of the funds to travel to work with coauthors and to visit sites with primary data sources to help enhance his research.

UM Moves Up in Measures of Academic and Research Performance

University included in several rankings of the nation's and world's best institutions

The University of Mississippi is ranked among the nation’s best public institutions in several third-party evaluations of academic and research performance. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Efforts by faculty, staff and students to excel in their pursuit of knowledge have given the University of Mississippi, the state’s flagship university, new momentum in its mission to lead the way in learning, discovery and engagement for the state and nation.

UM has been ranked among the nation’s best public institutions in several third-party evaluations of academic and research performance, and the university has climbed in recent measures of those areas.

In 2016, the university was included for the first time among the elite group of R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the definitive list of the nation’s top doctoral research universities. UM is among a distinguished group of 115 institutions, including Harvard, MIT and Johns Hopkins in the highest research category, which includes the top 2.5 percent of institutions of higher education.

The university also achieved its highest-ever standing in the 2017 U. S. News & World Report annual rankings of Best (Undergraduate) Colleges and Universities, where UM tied for No. 64 in the Top Public Universities category, up seven places from the previous year’s rankings. The rankings reflect 15 indicators of academic excellence, such as graduation and retention rates, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, financial resources and alumni giving rates.

Chemical engineering students conduct an experiment. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

“These achievements and rankings reinforce our flagship status and are a testament to the value of our degrees, the impact of our research and the competitiveness of our students, staff and faculty,” Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter said. “While they provide important benchmarks for our university, we remain committed to achieving even higher levels of excellence.

“We will focus upon growing the reach and impact of Ole Miss to continue making a positive difference for Mississippi, our nation and the world.”

The university ranked in the top 20 percent of U.S. institutions for total research and development expenditures in a report issued by the National Science Foundation based upon 2015 expenditures. For the 10th consecutive year, the university was ranked in the top 20 percent in this report.

The university also performed well in the inaugural ranking of U.S. colleges and universities by The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education publications. This measure ranked UM 74th among all the nation’s public universities.

This ranking constitutes a comparative assessment of more than 1,000 colleges and universities, measuring factors such as university resources, student engagement, outcomes and environment. The latter includes a gauge of the university’s efforts to build a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty and staff.

“Many of our academic offerings continue to gain exposure and recognition,” said Noel Wilkin, the university’s interim provost and executive vice chancellor. “I fully expect this trend to continue because of the quality and commitment of our faculty and staff.”

Success in international education and research partnerships contributed to the university’s standing on U.S. News’ 2017 list of Best Global Universities. Among the top 1,000 research universities in 65 countries, UM ranked in the top third on this year’s list.

Ole Miss students attending the PULSE Sophomore Leadership get to interact with Corporate Execs from FedEx, Hershey’s, Chico and others. PULSE is a two-day sophomore leadership workshop that brings together sophomore students from a variety of roles on campus to learn about themselves and their leadership potential. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

The Best Global Universities list ranks each institution’s international and regional research reputation, including a statistical analysis of peer-reviewed publications, citations and international collaborations. The university ranked in the top 10 percent in international collaborations, and the university’s research areas of physics and pharmacology/toxicology were ranked in the top 20 percent.

“The reputation of the university in national and international research circles has been steadily growing over the past few decades,” said Josh Gladden, interim vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs. “We have seen this trend through an increasing number of national leadership positions in societies and consortia, an increase in the number of grant awards, as well as in statistical reports such as U.S. News and World Report.

“It is an exciting time for the research community at the university, and I look forward to increasingly higher impact of UM research.”

U.S. News and World Report ranked two of the university’s graduate academic programs in the top 25 nationally among public universities: the online MBA program (No. 19) and pharmacy (No. 23). Here are some of the other U.S. News rankings of UM graduate programs among public universities:

  • School of Education online program (tied No. 35)
  • History (tied No. 48)
  • Master of Business Administration (tied No. 51)
  • English (tied No. 56)
  • Clinical psychology (tied No. 67)
  • Civil engineering (tied No. 70)
  • Education (tied No. 72)
  • Social work (tied No. 77)
  • Physics (tied No. 84)
  • Electrical engineering (tied No. 85)
  • Mathematics (tied No. 91)

In national rankings by other sources, the university achieved several additional accolades among all public and private universities:

  • Patterson School of Accountancy (all three degree programs ranked in the top 10 nationally by the journal Public Accounting Report)
  • Patterson School of Accountancy master’s and doctoral programs (No. 1 in SEC)
  • Patterson School of Accountancy undergraduate program (No. 2 in SEC)
  • Creative writing (No. 6 among “Top 10 Universities for Aspiring Writers” by
  • Online health informatics undergraduate program (No. 3 by the Health Informatics Degree Center)
  • Business law program in the School of Law (one of only four schools to earn a perfect score of A+ by preLaw Magazine, ranking it as one of the country’s top programs)

The university’s efforts to achieve excellence in all its endeavors also has helped recruit talented students to learn and contribute on all its campuses. The Chronicle of Higher Education named the university as the nation’s eighth-fastest growing among public doctoral institutions in its Almanac of Higher Education, moving up from 13th in 2014.

The ranking is based upon enrollment growth from fall 2006, when the university enrolled 14,497 students, to fall 2016, with 24,250 students registered.

The university’s incoming freshmen continue to be better-prepared for the rigor of college, posting an average ACT score of 25.2 in fall 2016, surpassing the school record of 24.7 set in 2015. The high school GPA of incoming freshmen also increased, growing from 3.54 to 3.57, another university record.

“Ole Miss is committed to student success,” Vitter said. “The demand for a University of Mississippi degree is unprecedented, and the success of our programs and initiatives aimed at helping students stay in school and graduate is clear in our increasing retention and graduation rates.

“Each and every day, our faculty and staff demonstrate strong commitment to transforming lives through higher education.”

Provost Stocks Announces Return to Full-time Faculty Status in the Patterson School of Accountancy

Chancellor names Wilkin as interim provost and will appoint committee to conduct national search

Morris Stocks. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

Morris H. Stocks announces he will return to faculty of the Patterson School of Accountancy. Photo by Kevin Bain/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. — The University of Mississippi announced today that its provost and executive vice chancellor, Morris H. Stocks, will return to the faculty of the Patterson School of Accountancy after serving in high-level administrative roles for over 14 years. For the past nine years as provost, interim chancellor and executive vice chancellor, Stocks has provided vision and leadership related to many academic honors and advancements at the university. His move to the faculty takes effect Jan. 1, 2017.

“I consider it a high privilege and a great honor to have served the University of Mississippi as provost for the last nine years,” Stocks said. “The university has changed tremendously during that time and is poised for new academic directions and challenges. I am confident about the future of the university and look forward to joining my colleagues in the Patterson School of Accountancy as a faculty member.”

“Dr. Stocks has served the University of Mississippi exceptionally well for almost a quarter of a century, and in the last nine years he has played a pivotal role in our dramatic gains in important metrics such as enrollment and retention rate,” Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter said. “I am personally grateful to Morris for his friendship, guidance and institutional knowledge during my transition to Ole Miss. I believe that we are all ultimately remembered for what we leave behind. Morris’ administrative legacy is substantial, and the fruits of his work will be visible across our campus and state for years to come.”

Noel Wilkin, currently senior associate provost, will serve as interim provost and executive vice chancellor pending a national search for a permanent replacement.

“I am very grateful to Dr. Stocks for his leadership and for serving as both a mentor and friend to me over these past years,” Wilkin said. “It is my goal to continue the commitment to excellence and access that he started as we build on this solid foundation of accomplishment. I am happy to know that he will stay in the Ole Miss family as a professor.”

Under Stocks’ leadership as the university’s chief academic officer, overall student enrollment has grown by over 40 percent and minority student enrollment has grown by over 60 percent. Student success measures have also improved with freshman retention and six-year graduation rates each increasing by roughly 7 percent.

As Stocks noted, “I am thankful that the university has maintained its commitment to access and excellence, and that we have measurable outcomes that demonstrate our commitment.”

In addition to his many accomplishments as a higher education administrator, Stocks is — first and foremost — a highly talented teacher, having won the coveted Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher Award in 1998 as a member of the faculty of the Patterson School of Accountancy.

“While we respect and reluctantly accept Dr. Stocks’ decision to leave his administrative role, we are thrilled that he will reassume a faculty position and continue to influence the lives of our students,” Vitter said.

Before assuming the provost responsibilities, Stocks served the university as senior vice chancellor for planning and operations and as dean of the Patterson School of Accountancy. Under his leadership as dean, the Patterson School was ranked for the first time in its history as one of the top 25 accounting programs in the country, a status it has retained ever since. Before his service as dean, Stocks was associate provost for three years, with responsibilities for the academic budget and undergraduate curriculum.

Stocks’ accomplishments include a number of actions to advance diversity and inclusion on the UM campus.

“Dr. Stocks has long been a strong and consistent force in the development and implementation of measures such as the UM Creed and the 2014 action plan for diversity,” said Donald Cole, assistant provost and assistant to the chancellor for multicultural affairs. “Morris is a trusted friend and seasoned administrator who realizes the importance of diversity in the pursuit of academic excellence, and I have leaned heavily upon his wisdom during my tenure here. His legacy of service forms a strong base for our continued focus on these important areas.”

A highly respected and beloved member of the UM faculty since 1991, Stocks’ colleagues note his change of roles with mixed feelings.

“I understand Dr. Stocks’ decision to return to the faculty after many years of hard work on the tough academic issues and challenges that face a university,” said Sue Keiser, chief of staff to the chancellor, “and I will miss our daily interactions — both as colleagues and as friends — which were always marked by kindness and warmth.”

Stocks received his undergraduate degree in accounting from Trevecca Nazarene University, his master’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. He is a certified public accountant in the state of Mississippi. He and his wife, Cindy, have four adult children.

Wilkin received both his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and his Ph.D. degree at the University of Maryland and joined the UM pharmacy faculty in 1996. He has received a number of academic honors and was recognized as teacher of the year three times by the UM School of Pharmacy. Wilkin currently serves as senior associate provost, professor of pharmacy and research professor in the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Faculty Chair Pays Tribute to UM Alumnus Don Jones

Brockman Foundation endows accountancy position, honors longtime friend

Don Jones and wife, Melissa M. Jones (center) stand with, from left, daughter-in-law Melissa G. Jones, son Dru Jones, son-in-law Kurt Autenreith and daughter Kelly Jones Autenreith at a surprise lunch held in Don Jones' honor earlier this year. Photo by Bill Dabney

Don Jones and wife, Melissa M. Jones (center) stand with, from left, daughter-in-law Melissa G. Jones, son Dru Jones, son-in-law Kurt Autenreith and daughter Kelly Jones Autenreith at a surprise lunch held in Don Jones’ honor earlier this year. Photo by Bill Dabney

OXFORD, Miss. – Family and friends say the late Don Jones loved the University of Mississippi from the moment he stepped on campus in the early 1960s.

“He just immediately embraced Ole Miss, became a part of it and was a leader on behalf of the university in so many ways,” said James W. Davis, Peery Professor Emeritus and Jones’ lifelong friend. “Every cause that we ever had, Donny supported financially and otherwise. He was involved with everything important that we ever did.”

“When Don enrolled at Ole Miss, he felt he had been given an opportunity and wanted to make the best of it,” his wife, Melissa Jones, said. “He had a deep love of the people associated with the university, the professors who guided and encouraged him while getting his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting. He also had a love for the school and always wanted the very best for it.”

“He even had the Rebel brand on his golf club covers!” recalls Evatt Tamine, director of the Brockman Foundation, a charitable trust for which Jones served as financial adviser for more than two decades.

On April 12, 2016, less than two months before Jones died suddenly at his Oxford home, the Brockman Foundation surprised him with the news that the Donald D. Jones Chair of Accountancy Endowment had been established within the Patterson School of Accountancy on his beloved Ole Miss campus.

“Through Don’s work, finding investment opportunities and following through with them, the Brockman Foundation was able to build to the extent to where it can now make some substantial gifts,” Tamine said. “We are able to do the work we do, to a large extent, because of the work Don did over the years. So it seemed appropriate to do something that honored him.”

An initial gift of $2 million established the endowment that will support salary supplements, research and creative activity in an effort to attract and retain outstanding faculty.

“Because of this incredible gift, we will be able to ensure quality teaching, research and service for future generations of University of Mississippi students,” Dean Mark Wilder said, adding that the school intends to fill the chair in 2017.

“We are extremely grateful to the Brockman Foundation for its generosity and for continuing Don Jones’ legacy of involvement within the Patterson School. We are honored that the Don Jones name will be forever associated with the Patterson School faculty and our students.”

Davis agreed: “This gift is an immense honor. We knew he was a positive influence in the company, but we now know how much they appreciated his dedication, energy and ability to grow the company. They truly honored him in a way that was appropriate; they knew what he loved.”

Melissa Jones said her husband, who was overwhelmed by the gift, told her that he hoped it would keep the school at the forefront of nationally renowned accountancy schools and give students opportunities to excel.

“This was a very humbling experience and both of us were very grateful for the recognition,” she said. “Don felt strongly about the School of Accountancy and would tell anyone who would listen how important it was to him.”

In college, Jones was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, serving the fraternity in many capacities from pledge class president to chapter president. He was a member of the Interfraternity Council, Omicron Delta Kappa (president), Army ROTC, the ROTC band, a deputy brigade commander and a member of the Scabbard and Blade Society.

Named a distinguished military student, the McComb native was on the honor roll and was a member of the Delta Sigma Pi freshman honorary, Beta Alpha Psi accountancy honorary (vice president), Beta Gamma Sigma business honorary and Phi Beta Psi campus honorary.

He graduated cum laude in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in accountancy and served as a graduate assistant for Davis while pursuing his master’s degree, which he earned in 1967.

At Ole Miss, Jones met Melissa Massengill, a 1968 graduate of the School of Business Administration. They were married on Dec. 23, 1967, and together raised a daughter, Kelly, and a son, Dru.

After graduation, Jones joined Arthur Andersen & Co. in Houston, Texas, as an auditor from 1967 to 1968. He then served a two-year stint in the U.S. Army as a second and first lieutenant, Finance Corps, before returning to Arthur Andersen until 1976.

Jones then had the opportunity to join Brown & Root Inc. in Houston from 1976 to 1981. There, he provided leadership in multiple capacities from internal audit manager to senior manager of the power division and finally as the senior manager of computer services. In 1981, he joined Universal Computer Systems Inc. in Houston, where he was the chief financial officer until 1995, when he became chief executive officer of Pilot Management Ltd. in Bermuda. He served there until 2008.

Jones was active in his church and was a member of the Mississippi Society of CPAs, Texas Society of CPAs, Georgia Society of CPAs and the Bermuda Chapter of Canadian Chartered Accountants.

He was an avid golfer, hunter and fisherman and a dedicated supporter of Ole Miss athletics, particularly football, baseball and basketball, all of which he would watch seated next to Davis, his friend of 51 years. Additionally, he enjoyed reading, history, telling stories and spending time with his children and five grandchildren.

“For Don to be back in Oxford, heavily involved with the university, and to have this gift made him a very, very happy man,” Tamine said. “He always felt one step closer to heaven in Oxford.”

UM Accountancy Programs Maintain Top 10 Standing

Undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree programs continue string of elite rankings

Conner Hall Photo by:UM Brand Photography

Conner Hall, home of the Patterson School of Accountancy

OXFORD, Miss. – All three degree programs at the University of Mississippi’s Patterson School of Accountancy are among the top 10 in the 2016 annual national rankings of accounting programs published by the journal Public Accounting Report.

The undergraduate program is ranked No. 7, the master’s program is No. 8 and the doctoral program is No. 7. The master’s and doctoral programs lead the Southeastern Conference in the rankings and the undergraduate program is second in the SEC. Each of the three degree programs has ranked first in the SEC for three of the past four years.

The Patterson School has become a mainstay on the national scene, with its programs ranked in the top 10 nationally for six consecutive years, and among the top 20 in the nation for nine straight years. The PAR has been ranking accounting programs for 35 years.

The rankings are based on a survey of accounting professors in the United States. Other undergraduate SEC programs ranked in the top 25 are Texas A&M, at No. 5; Alabama, 8; Florida, 10; Georgia, 11; Missouri, 14; and Tennessee, 23.

Among the highly ranked master’s programs are Alabama, at No. 9; Georgia, 10; Texas A&M, 11; Florida, 13; Missouri, 15; and Tennessee, 21. The doctoral rankings include Alabama, No. 8; Texas A&M, 9; Georgia, 12; Florida, 16; and Missouri, 20.

In other results, a new ranking category was established this year, which was a ranking by region.

“In the South region, we ranked No. 1 for both undergraduate and master’s programs, and would have also ranked No. 1 for doctoral programs had they been included,” Dean Mark Wilder said. “The South region, which constitutes 30 percent of the approximately 1,000 PAR votes in 2016, includes 10 states: Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.”

Undergraduate and master’s program rankings for 2016 were also compiled based only on votes by professors who did not vote their own schools No. 1 in the survey. Ole Miss fared extremely well in these rankings, coming in at No. 3 nationally for both the undergraduate and master’s program. The top schools in these rankings are Texas and Brigham Young.

More than 1,000 schools in the United States offer accounting programs, and around 500 of those, including UM, are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business as being among the best accountancy and business programs in the world, said Dale Flesher, associate dean and holder of the Burns Chair of Accountancy. PAR voters who determine the rankings are influenced by several other factors that set the Patterson School apart.

“Many voters, some of whom may not know much about Ole Miss, know that the university houses the AICPA Library, the largest accountancy library in the world,” he said. “Also, a recent study showed that we are the only university of our size in the country that has every accounting class taught by a professor with CPA designation.

“The main criterion for the undergraduate and master’s rankings is success of graduates in public accounting. Therefore, having every class taught by a CPA makes it easier for students to identify with the needs of the profession.”

UM also has hosted a number of faculty from other schools in recent years, whether to visit the AICPA Library or to present their research to Ole Miss faculty and doctoral students, Wilder said.

“For example, these faculty come from places like the universities of Texas, Illinois, North Carolina and also from Ohio State and Duke,” he said. “Invariably, they all leave impressed with the quality of our faculty, students and program. They are also impressed with the collegiality of our faculty and the beauty of our campus.”

Wilder credits the school’s faculty, students and alumni for having a positive impact on its reputation.

“We have an outstanding faculty of top teachers and researchers that are also very much focused on serving and mentoring students,” he said. “Our faculty all work together toward our common goal of having one of the top accounting programs in the nation.

“The Patterson School is also fortunate to have outstanding students who go on to have phenomenal careers. The academic profile of our accountancy student body gets stronger every year, a fact that is certainly being recognized in the marketplace.”

Wilder also noted the importance of private support in the school’s successful equation.

“The successes we are enjoying are directly attributable to the loyalty and generosity of our alumni and friends,” he said. “Their support helps us to offer scholarships to attract outstanding students, to reward our faculty and to strengthen our program.

“We are grateful for their loyalty and willingness to give back to the school. It is absolutely a difference-maker for us and allows our successes to be built upon and perpetuated.”

For more information about the Patterson School of Accountancy, visit

UM Administrators Say Thank You to Donors

More than 480 alumni and friends receive calls of gratitude

E.J. Jackson, project center manager for the UM Call Center, helps Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter navigate the system as he begins to make calls, personally thanking donors for their recent contributions. Photo by Bill Dabney

E.J. Jackson, project center manager for the UM Call Center, helps Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter navigate the system as he begins to make calls, personally thanking donors for their recent contributions. Photo by Bill Dabney

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi Chancellor Jeffrey S. Vitter surprised a number of alumni and friends recently, when he called to personally thank them for their financial support.

Vitter participated in UM’s fourth annual “Thank You Power Hour” along with academic deans, faculty and staff members who volunteered to spend an hour calling more than 480 university supporters to express their appreciation. The event was sponsored by the Office of University Development and the University of Mississippi Foundation.

“This year’s event was a bit of a contest,” said Angie Avery, the foundation’s annual giving coordinator. “The chancellor was in the lead for the most calls until he had to step away to attend to other university business. Nevertheless, the Power Hour was a fantastic opportunity for the Ole Miss leadership to personally experience our Call Center environment.”

Cobie Watkins, director of programs and alumni affairs at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, thanked the most donors, followed by Denson Hollis, senior director of development for the College of Liberal Arts, and Brooke Barnes, director of development for the Patterson School of Accountancy. Lionel Maten, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, took home this year’s spirit award, which is given to the most enthusiastic caller.

“Can you imagine former students receiving a call from the chancellor or from their favorite professors to thank them for recent contributions?” said Suzanne Thigpen, director of annual giving. “It really sends a powerful message to our donors. We have such involved and generous alumni and friends, so our message is always one of deep gratitude for this continued support.”

Private giving helps fund student scholarships, faculty needs, academic programs and external educational opportunities.

Typically, the Call Center is staffed by students who are paid to call donors each evening.

“We employ student callers to give alumni and friends the opportunity to hear about their experiences as students at Ole Miss today,” Thigpen said. “The students, in turn, benefit from career advice from alumni who have been passionate about improving experiences for current students and future generations.”

Individuals and organizations interested in supporting any area of the university can contact Thigpen at 662-915-6625, or by visiting

Baileys Honor Loved Ones through Giving

Gift to UM accountancy school honors father while supporting students

David R. Bailey II (front left) enjoys a day on campus with his wife, Julie Hagan Bailey, grandson Ethan David Bailey, and sons Bradley W. Bailey (back left) and David R. Bailey III, and David's wife, Morgan Mathis Bailey.

David R. Bailey II (front left) enjoys a day on campus with his wife, Julie Hagan Bailey, grandson Ethan David Bailey, and sons Bradley W. Bailey (back left) and David R. Bailey III, and David’s wife, Morgan Mathis Bailey.

OXFORD, Miss. – David Bailey and his wife, Julie, believe one of the best ways to honor those who have worked to achieve their dreams is by helping others achieve dreams of their own.

The Baileys most recently made a $25,000 gift to the University of Mississippi’s Patterson School of Accountancy in honor of David’s father. Previously, Julie Bailey established a foundation scholarship in honor of her late mother, Jewel R. Hagan, at the University of Texas School of Nursing. And in 2014, the Baileys encouraged David’s cousins, Ole Miss alumni Kerry and Terri King, to establish a foundation scholarship at the UM Department of Geology and Geological Engineering in honor of their son, Charlie (a graduate student in the department), after his untimely death.

“My father, David R. Bailey, never had the opportunity to attend college, but he was inspirational in his work ethic – he held at least two jobs – and taught me that the most important goal is to do the best at everything you endeavor to accomplish,” said David Bailey, a 1981 UM accountancy graduate who lives in Dallas, Texas.

“He was truly a renaissance man, a self-taught musician, a mechanic and a church deacon I have a 1959 Harley Davidson motorcycle that he built from 200 pieces, in honor of my birth year. He died much too early, at age 72, from cancer. It is his life and accomplishments that we wish to honor with this gift.”

The Baileys’ gift establishes the David R. Bailey Sr. Memorial Scholarship Endowment in Accountancy.

“Our hope is that this gift will help someone’s dreams and aspirations come true,” David Bailey said. “I had to work full-time during college, living with my wonderful grandparents in Oxford for the first two years.

“Professor H.E. ‘Gene’ Peery, along with all my accounting professors, were always eager to encourage me to earn my degree and become a CPA. I hope this gift will similarly give encouragement and help to an accounting student who can benefit from an Ole Miss accountancy degree as I and my family have.”

The accountancy school is humbled by the Baileys’ generosity, said Mark Wilder, the school’s dean.

“It is a beautiful tribute to honor the memory and accomplishments of David Bailey Sr. while also helping students succeed in college and beyond.” Wilder said. “We are grateful for the Baileys’ gift – and humbled when we consider that the lives of countless generations of students in the School of Accountancy will be improved because of this wonderful scholarship.”

Individuals and organizations can make gifts to support the Patterson School of Accountancy by mailing a check with the endowment noted to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655; visiting or contacting Brooke Barnes, director of development, at 662-915-1993 or

Ignite Ole Miss Campaign to Expand Kottkamp Memorial Scholarship

Students will hand out #lovefenton stickers Saturday in the Grove to support effort

The Kottkamps (from left), Rush, Harrison, Jane, Stephen and Fenton enjoyed the Grove last fall.

The Kottkamps (from left), Rush, Harrison, Jane, Stephen and Fenton enjoyed the Grove last fall.

OXFORD, Miss. – Fenton Kottkamp of Louisville, Kentucky, would have turned 23 next Tuesday (Sept. 29), but a tragic accident earlier this year took his life. Several well-known friends are promoting a scholarship in his name to expand his legacy at the University of Mississippi.

The crowdfunding initiative launched Friday (Sept. 25) to build on a scholarship created in Fenton’s name by Annette and John Schnatter, president-CEO of Papa John’s Pizza, and Olivia and Archie Manning, Ole Miss alumni and the “First Family of Football.” Both John Schnatter and Archie Manning appear in a video for the IgniteOleMiss site, which has as its goal doubling the $29,000 in the endowment.

Ole Miss students, alumni and friends will be handing out #lovefenton stickers in the Grove before Saturday’s football game. The hashtag was inspired by the last line of Kottkamp’s obituary: “In honor of Fenton, please love one another.”

“Fenton would want everyone to love one another, and he would want all of us to go forward with our lives,” said Stephen Kottkamp of Louisville, Kentucky.

The popular student was poised to receive his diploma in May 2015 commencement exercises from UM’s Patterson School of Accountancy with his twin brother, Rush. The brothers had chosen Ole Miss because of its nationally recognized accountancy program and well-rounded college experience.

“My family and I have been deeply impacted by the tragic passing of Fenton Kottkamp, not only because of the fine young man that Fenton was, but also because of the relationship between the Kottkamp family and my family” said Schnatter, also of Louisville.

“Working with Ole Miss alumnus Archie Manning to create the Fenton Kottkamp Memorial Scholarship Endowment was a way for my family and other donors to honor Fenton’s memory and highlight for the Kottkamp family how much affection and respect we hold for their son.”

Manning added, “Our hearts continue to be with the Kottkamp family. … We hope others will join us in remembering this extraordinary young man by helping to build this scholarship endowment, so others can experience Ole Miss in Fenton’s name.”

Rush Kottkamp, now pursuing a master’s degree at UM, said, “Ole Miss gave us the best four years anyone could have wanted. Fenton loved everything about Ole Miss and Oxford. He loved every single sporting event. No matter what time the football game started, Fenton was in the Grove as early as possible.”

Gifts of all sizes can build the Fenton Kottkamp Memorial Scholarship to assist eligible students pursuing majors in the Patterson School and the School of Business Administration. The levels on the crowdfunding platform begin at $23 in honor of the late student’s upcoming birthday.

Parents Jane and Stephen Kottkamp, as well as brothers Rush and Harrison Kottkamp, have joined with the university to promote the scholarship initiative.

“We love Ole Miss for Ole Miss,” Stephen Kottkamp said. “Ole Miss became our happy place. As Rush said to Jane on the way home from Fenton’s visitation, ‘Fenton and I caught lightning in a bottle when we chose Ole Miss.’ Fenton and Rush hit their stride in the Ole Miss environment; they blossomed and excelled. Our family will strive to make Ole Miss our happy place again.”

For more information on the Fenton Kottkamp Memorial Scholarship, contact Maura Wakefield, development officer, at 662-915-2712 or Gifts to the scholarship endowment can also be made by sending a check with the fund noted in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655.