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Anonymous $1.5 million gift to lift WSU’s Department of Accounting

Closeup of two accounting students comparing notes
Accounting students compare notes at WSU's Carson College of Business (photo by WSU Photo Services).

The Washington State University Department of Accounting has received an anonymous $1.5 million gift to establish an endowment supporting its highest priorities. 

The WSU Carson College of Business Department of Accounting Endowed Excellence Fund will help meet a wide range of objectives, which can evolve from year to year and may include—but are not limited to—undergraduate advisement, career guidance and event support.

According to Bernard Wong-On-Wing, professor and chair of the WSU Department of Accounting, the gift will help the department to:

  • Increase focus on high-impact learning practices to motivate more student engagement and active learning
  • Continue to pursue excellence in teaching with an innovative curriculum that includes topics such as environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, data analytics and cyber security
  • Better recruit and retain diverse and underrepresented students

“These specifics primarily emphasize faculty teaching responsibilities and required technical skills,” Wong-On-Wing added. “As such, they complement the activities designed to develop the soft and professional skills that are also important for our accounting students to learn.”

Chip Hunter, dean of Carson College, spoke of the gift’s impact on student and faculty recruitment as well as student learning outcomes.

“The accounting program plays a significant role in achieving the Carson College’s vision of becoming the top choice for business education in the Pacific Northwest,” said Hunter. “This gift will help us continue to excel at preparing accounting students with the skills and experiences they need to land that first job, and to become leaders in the profession and in the communities they will serve.”

“The gift will extend the college’s flexibility in meeting the accounting program’s highest priorities,” Hunter said, “which include recruiting a diverse student population, building students’ skills and job-placement outcomes, and aligning with industry and government standards worldwide.”

WSU System President Kirk Schulz praised the gift’s generosity as well as its wide scope, the latter of which allows the Carson College dean flexibility in allocating funds. 

“Unrestricted support can be incredibly impactful,” said Schulz. “Priorities, initiatives and technologies to support our students, faculty and staff inevitably change over time. The flexible nature of unrestricted support creates opportunities for our leaders to make strategic investments where they will have the greatest return on that investment.”

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