February, 2005 | Mays Impacts

Professional Program graduate student Richard “Ricky” Cronin will join an elite group of the nation’s leading accounting program graduates when he begins his one-year postgraduate fellowship with the Financial Accounting Standards Board this July.

Cronin also joins 10 other Mays Professional Program graduates to be selected as FASB postgraduate technical assistants since the program’s inception in 1992. He’ll graduate in May and become one of four postgraduate interns welcomed into FASB’s fold.

The program introduces interns to accounting standards-setting and helps them develop an in-depth understanding of the roles of preparers, auditors and users of financial statements.

Cronin will receive a BBA in accounting and a master’s degree in finance in May and will join the staff of PricewaterhouseCoopers after he completes his FASB assignment. He is a Texas A&M Buck Weirus Spirit Award winner, active in such groups as the Mays Fellows Program and Aggies on Wall Street.

Categories: Programs, Students

Faculty and staff were honored for their dedicated service in a December 2004 meeting.

Mays Fellowships were awarded to Associate Professor of Accounting Lynn L. Rees, Associate Professor of Management Adrienne Colella and William E. Stein, associate professor of information and operations management.

Earning the Mays Distinguished Research Award for 2004 are: Michael A. Hitt, Distinguished Professor of management who holds the Foster Chair in Business Leadership and Conn Chair in New Ventures; Management Department Head Angelo S. DeNisi, holder of the Robertson Chair in Business Administration; Marketing Department Head Rajan Varadarajan, a Distinguished Professor of marketing and holder of the Ford Chair in Marketing and E-Commerce; and Executive Associate Dean Ricky W. Griffin, a Distinguished Professor of management and Blocker Chair in Business.

Four were recognized as recipients of the 2004 Outstanding Staff Award: Missy Amos, administrative coordinator in the dean’s office; Patsy L. Hartmangruber, a senior office associate in the department of management; Sherry Higginbotham, a senior office associate in accounting; and Linda M. Windle, the assistant director of the Undergraduate Programs Office.

Faculty and staff were also recognized for their years of service. Those with 30 years of service in 2004 include: James Benjamin, accounting head and Anderson & Co. Former Students Professor; Benito E. Flores, information and operations management professor and Tenneco Professor in Business; Bill Powell, network administrator; and R. Malcolm Richards, director of the Real Estate Center and Peters Professor of Banking.

Gary A. Giroux, the Shelton Accounting Systems Professor, was recognized for his 25 years at Mays.

Those with 20 years include George Fowler, director for the Center of Management Information Systems and professor of management information systems; Linda Perry, senior lecturer in accounting; and accounting professor L. Murphy Smith.

Categories: Centers, Departments, Faculty, Programs

Associate Professor of Marketing Larry G. Gresham, Jr., also assistant department head and undergraduate program director for marketing, was recently named the 2005 recipient of the Bush Excellence Award for Faculty in International Teaching. His award helps give Mays a three-year streak: Lamar Savings Professor of Finance Arvind Mahajan received the award for Teaching in 2004 and Management Professor and Faculty Fellow Lorraine Eden was recognized for Research in 2003.

Gresham researches and teaches retailing, buyer behavior and international markets. He has been a Mays faculty member since 1981 and faculty coordinator for the marketing department’s Study Abroad program in Europe since 1987.

His $2,500 award for international teaching is one of three that will be presented at the Consul General’s Luncheon during International Week in late February. The award is sponsored by former President Bush and the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Joining the 2005 Association of Former Students board of directors this spring are two of Mays’ own: Cydney C. Donnell ’81, executive professor of finance, and William H. “Bill” Flores ’76, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Gryphon Exploration Company in Houston.

As directors on the 18-member board, the well-known alumni join a team guiding fundraising and policy for the Association and its contributions to Texas A&M — with half of every annual fund dollar raised used in direct support of the university.

Donnell was managing director and principal at European Investors, Inc. in New York City until she came to teach at Mays in 2003. She managed more than $2.8 billion in real estate securities on behalf of U.S. pension funds, foundations, endowments and clients for her firm. At the outset of her career, she was named Outstanding Business Student at Mays in 1979.

Flores, of Sugar Land, is outgoing chairman of the Department of Finance Advisory Board and has served as department chair for the university’s One Spirit One Vision Campaign to help A&M enter into the top 10 ranked public institutions. He is also a member of Mays’ Development Council and was honored as an Outstanding Alumni in 2003. He and his wife, Gina, have been longtime benefactors of Mays and Texas A&M.

Categories: Former Students

John Speer, of Houston, has committed $250,000 to endow the Carlton D. Stolle Faculty Fellowship in Mays Business School. Speer, Class of 1971, made the gift to support a faculty member in real estate education at Mays and in honor of Carlton Stolle, an accounting professor who has taught at Mays for 40 years.

“John’s gift in honor of Professor Stolle is a wonderful tribute to both John’s generosity and the impact Professor Stolle has had on students throughout his distinguished career,” said Dean Jerry Strawser. “This generous gift will have a similar impact on future students studying real estate at Mays Business School.”

Mays Business School currently enrolls more than 4,400 undergraduate students and 800 graduate students. Mays is nationally ranked among public business schools for the quality of its undergraduate program, MBA program, and faculty scholarship.

“It is with great pleasure, pride and appreciation that I have been fortunate enough to be able to honor Professor Stolle through this donation,” Speer said. “I am pleased to have had the opportunity to learn under his tutelage and guidance. This is truly an example of making a difference in someone’s life and not really expecting anything in return, other than a quiet self-confidence of a job well done. I am pleased to be able to speak up for the difference that Professor Stolle and all the other A&M professors have made in the lives of their students, knowing that a simple “thank you’ would have been enough.”

Speer has spent 30 years in the home-building and mortgage industries, participating in the construction and/or financing of more than $5 billion in real estate. He is currently chief financial officer of the Royce Family of Builders, Park Lake Communities, and Hammersmith Financial. He is a member of both the National Association of Home Builders and the Greater Houston Builders Association. He also serves on the Dean’s Development Council at Mays Business School.

Categories: Deanspeak, Donors Corner, Faculty, Former Students, Programs

Tax and business consulting firm UHY Mann Frankfort Stein & Lipp Advisors (UHY MFSL) recently committed a minimum of $50,000 for an endowed scholarship in accounting at Mays Business School. The firm’s gift will specifically provide scholarships for students in the Professional Program at Mays.

The firm will also match gifts from partners and staff to this endowment over a five-year period.

“This significant endowment will benefit countless future accounting students,” said Jim Benjamin, head of the accounting department. “It is also particularly gratifying to receive such support from a firm which has only recently begun recruiting from our Professional Program.”

Mays Business School currently enrolls more than 4,400 undergraduate students and 800 graduate students. Mays is nationally ranked among public business schools for the quality of its undergraduate program, MBA program and faculty scholarship.

The master’s program in accounting, of which many students in the professional program are a part, was ranked as the 10th best in the nation in the CPA Personnel Report’s 23rd Annual Survey of Professors.

“Recruiting is integral to our firm’s growth plans,” said Paul Mueller, a managing director with UHY MFSL and the National Tax Director for UHY Advisors, Inc. “This financial commitment underscores our appreciation and support for the continuing quality of Mays’ Professional Program.”

UHY MFSL is the Houston office of UHY Advisors, Inc. (UHY), the nation’s 16th largest professional services firm providing tax, accounting and business advisory services. With more than 1,000 staff members in 20 locations, UHY is a premier provider to both publicly-traded and middle market clients.

Categories: Departments, Donors Corner, Faculty, Programs

MBA program Associate Director Wendy Flynn is featured in a question-and-answer style story “Getting on the Team at A&M” in BusinessWeek Online that appeared Jan. 19.

The session introduces Mays’ MBA teamwork curriculum to prospective students, outlines admissions policies and lets students know how best to position themselves to gain acceptance to the program. To find her feature, visit http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/.

BusinessWeek is an international publication that prints weekly for an audience of CEOs and entrepreneurs, with an online edition that includes daily updates. Flynn’s Q-and-A piece appears as part of an updated series of similar sit-downs with MBA program leaders across the country.

Categories: Faculty, Programs

Mays students sitting for the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam in 2003 ranked high among candidates from all colleges and universities. In the National Association of State Boards of Accounting’s 2004 report “Candidate Performance on the Uniform CPA Examination,” Texas A&M students taking the exam in May 2003 ranked 1st in financial accounting and reporting with 65.8 percent passing and ranked 4th in auditing with 59.5 percent passing.

Students in the Professional Program continued to perform well on the new computerized exam which was offered for the first time in 2004. Based upon information released from the state board of public accounting for the July-August period, students in the Professional Program passed 64 percent of parts taken as compared with 45 percent for candidates from all other Texas universities. That includes passing rates of 73 percent in auditing and business environment and concepts.

Mays accounting graduate and undergraduate programs also moved up in ranking among peer evaluators in the CPA Personnel Report’s 2004 annual accounting professor’s survey. The undergraduate program rose from 16th to 13th and the graduate program is now in the top 10, taking 10th place up from 13th a year ago.

Accounting Department Head Jim Benjamin says the peer survey, which is the most cited ranking of accounting programs, shows that Mays’ reputation has improved among the national business education community.

“The ranking is catching up with reality,” Benjamin said. “We’ve been a bit of a hidden success story. Now educators and professionals are increasingly recognizing the quality and innovation of our programs.”

Categories: Programs, Students