KPMG LLP and the KPMG Foundation have announced a gift of $550,000 to the accounting department at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. This gift will establish an endowed scholarship fund for high-achieving Aggie accounting majors.

The accounting department has benefited from a long line of KPMG contributions through their relationship of more than 30 years with the firm. What is unique about this gift is its timing, as KPMG has very recently concluded a five-year pledge of $500,000 to fund an endowed chair. The back-to-back gifts demonstrate the firm’s commitment to the future of the accounting department.

“Our firm has a legacy of giving, and we intend to continue that tradition,” said Randy L. Hill, a partner-in-charge of the audit practice at KPMG’s Dallas office, who graduated with his degree in accounting from Mays in 1983. “We’ve been fortunate enough to hire some great students from Mays…they have the initiative, motivation and attitude to do well in this field. We want to do everything we can to keep this program strong.”

Hill says that the firm evaluated past giving and determined that their current gift should more directly benefit the students. The gift’s purpose is to help Mays to attract the “best and brightest students to the accounting program.”

“KPMG is a long-time supporter of our Accounting program,” said Ricky Griffin, interim dean of Mays Business School. “The firm’s support has been an important factor in the high national rankings that have been achieved by the Department of Accounting. The scholarships provided by this gift will help insure that our accounting program will continue to gain in prominence and recognition. We sincerely appreciate KPMG’s generosity.”

About KPMG

KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax, and advisory services, operating in 148 countries with more than 113,000 professionals working in member firms around the world.

About Mays Business School

Mays Business School currently enrolls more than 4,000 undergraduate students and 875 graduate students. Mays is nationally ranked among public business schools for the quality of its undergraduate program, MBA program and the faculty scholarship of its 110 professors in five departments.

Categories: Departments

Seventy top businesses, thousands of eager Mays students, and an endless stack of resumes. That was the scene on February 5 and 6 for the annual Business Student Council spring Career Fair at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.

Students talking to recruiter
The Business Student Council hosts career fairs on the first floor of the Wehner Building during both the spring and fall semesters.

An estimated 2,500 students participated, donning their best business suits to meet representatives from top corporations. Through the event, the Business Student Council hoped to provide a resource for job-seeking students to establish contacts and learn more about their career options.

An event of this magnitude doesn’t happen with out significant preparation. Brock Beard, Business Student Council vice president in charge of Career Fair put together a team of twelve BSC members to plan every detail of the student-run event. Preparations began six months prior to the fair, and the plans were finally put into action in mid-January.

“A lot of people think that an outside party plans the fair and then BSC stamps its name on it, but that cannot be further from the truth. The fall and spring BSC business career fairs are among the largest student-led career fairs in the nation,” said Beard.

Valerie Berlin, a senior accounting major, added several new contacts to her networking list by attending the fair, making the prospect of finding a job a bit less stressful. She said that the recruiters enable students to see real world applications of things learned in class.

“This is the one time that companies come to us, and they have a lot of respect for Texas A&M. It’s exciting,” said Berlin.

On the business end, the Career Fair serves as a major recruiting tool, bringing in large numbers of prospective employees for face time with company reps.

“When we visit Texas A&M, the students are always prepared, and despite the fact that they may be nervous, they come across as very professional. This is truly one of the best colleges for recruiting,” said Carol Busbey of Canon Business Solutions.

And what is the impact of recruiting events on these companies? Business representatives say that they usually gain several new hires from Career Fair.

“It allows us to find the best future employees,” said Francisco Alonzo, recruiter for CITGO.

Categories: Students

The Business Honors program at Mays Business School celebrated 21 years of excellence on January 31st. The festive gathering was a time to celebrate a milestone in the life of the program, as well as an opportunity to introduce prospective students to what Business Honors has to offer.

Business Honors celebration
Long-time Business Honors faculty member Jim Benjamin was one of several speakers that addressed the crowd

Approximately 140 attended to partake of cake and punch while learning more about the program, which selects only the top 30 percent of applicants each year. Program Director Kris Morley spoke at the event, acknowledging former directors, and thanking current faculty and staff involved with the program.

“These events are very important to the Business Honors program. The size of Texas A&M University scares some prospective students, but this kind of gathering allows students to walk away with a more personal feel,” said Morley.

The Business Honors program pairs highly motivated and talented students with top-notch faculty in smaller class sizes to facilitate discussion and greater exploration of the subject matter. In addition, students in the program participate in leadership, personal, and professional development events. They are given the opportunity learn from top business leaders, participate in visits to leading businesses, attend conferences, and complete community service projects.

Omar El-Halwagi, a freshman involved in the program, attributes his success during his first semester of college to his Business Honors courses. He is certain that he will be more than prepared to take on the real world after his experience in the Business Honors Program.

Business Honors celebration
The event also allowed prospective students to speak directly with current and former Business Honors students and staff

“The program takes care of you, gives you proper resources. I’m ahead of the game because of this fantastic program,” said El-Halwagi.

Jim Benjamin, head of the accounting department, has been teaching Business Honors courses since the program’s inception. “It really does work when you have outstanding students in a small classroom that are excited about learning and working together,” he said, noting the success of program graduates.

For more information about the Business Honors Program, visit

Categories: Programs

Sujan Dan, a doctoral student at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, has recently been named a winner in the 2007 Institute for the Study of Business Markets (ISBM) Doctoral Dissertation Award Competition.


Dan’s research focuses on the consumer electronics industry, specifically examining the role of alliance, partner and format characteristics in the market acceptance of formats, and their eventual establishment as standards.

“An application of this work would be to the ongoing competition between the Blu-Ray and HD DVD formats to become the industry standard for high definition DVDs,” said Dan.

Entries for this dissertation competition were judged for their value both to the theory and practice of business marketing.

Each winner will be awarded up to $7,500 for direct expenses incurred in the development, execution and presentation of their research from the ISBM. The assistance is on an as needed basis, and will also aid Dan in gaining the cooperation of both ISBM member firms and non-member firms for data, interviews, and use of databases and other research components.

Categories: Students

Audio recordings are now available of the sessions presented at a recent conference on the topic of the U.S. and Canada border trade. Listen to or download each of the presentations by following this link:

The Homeland Security and Canada-U.S. Border Trade: Implications for Public Policy and Business Strategy conference was hosted in part by the Center for International Business Studies at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. About 120 business executives, government officials, and academics attended the conference, which was held in Windsor, Ontario in October 2007.

The presenters discussed the challenges of keeping the world’s longest undefended border open to trade but closed to terrorists. The goal of the conference was creating greater cooperation between nations, and fully engaging people in the public and private sectors in security efforts, constructive policy action, and meaningful research.

For more information about the conference, please visit the website You can also contact Kerry Cooper at

Categories: Centers

It was a glimpse into the future for 16 third and fourth graders from area elementary schools who participated in the annual “Aggie for a Day” program. The event took place on February 2 and was hosted by the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) organization at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.

Students participating
16 area elementary students participated in the “Aggie for a Day” program

The youngsters got a feel for the real A&M experience as they heard a business lecture at Mays, took a quiz, ate pizza, toured Kyle Field and the Bright Athletic Complex, and ramped up their Aggie spirit with help from a few yell leaders and athletes. Most came dressed in maroon, eager to show their Aggie pride.

The theme for the day was ethical behavior and the foundation for the curriculum was the Aggie Code of Honor: “An Aggie does not lie, cheat or steal or tolerate those who do.”

“Business ethics aren’t separate from everyday ethical behavior. That’s what we’d like them to see,” said Ashley Nix ’08, one of the SIFE members that helped facilitate and organize the event. The concept of ethics was introduced with a pre-test with tough questions like, “Which is worse: stealing a car, or stealing a piece of gum?”

Throughout the day, the participants were drilled on the Code of Honor and were rewarded for “ethical” behavior (being kind to others, following directions, etc.) with “Aggie Bucks.” At the end of the day, the one with that accumulated the most Aggie Bucks got a prize.

Separate from the ethics information, the students also had a classroom experience with Lawrence Wolken, Mays’ clinical professor of finance, who presented a lesson called “The International Pencil.” He taught the basics of supply chain and global economics from the standpoint of manufacturing a pencil, opening the students’ eyes to the complexities of business even for a simple, everyday item.

Students participating
Eager students learn about “The International Pencil” from Mays professor Lawrence Wolken

SIFE faculty sponsor Cindy Billington, an associate director with Mays’ Graduate Business Career Services, had a dual role in the day’s activities as her 4th grade son, Brandon, was in attendance. She says as a parent she sees great value in this type of program. “While children do understand the concept of telling the truth, they also start at this age in struggling with the pros and cons of telling the truth and getting in trouble,” she said. “The ethics portion of Aggie for a Day focused on those challenges.”

The objectives for the day were simple: “We want them to learn about being ethical, have some fun, and hopefully want to be an Aggie,” said SIFE member Mimi Wilfong ’08. The last part of that initiative wasn’t a hard sell for many of the participants. When asked about his Aggie aspirations, 3rd grader Harrison Buenger said he most looks forward to “walking across campus to classes, and playing soccer.”

Rob Havens ’88 brought his 4th grade son Tyler to participate in the day’s events. “What sports are you going to play for the Aggies?” Havens prompted his son.

“Football, or baseball, or basketball,” said Tyler ambitiously.

The event was sponsored by Walgreen’s and Sam’s Club.

Related articles:
The Battalion: Students participate in A&M experience
KBTX-TV: Aggie for a day (includes video)

Categories: Students, Texas A&M

They weren’t supposed to win. They were less experienced and lacked the expertise of their competitors whose programs were more specialized. The team of graduate students from Texas A&M University knew they were a long shot to win the Case Cup competition at the National Sports Forum in January.

“We knew we were the underdogs, for sure, coming into it,” said teammate Lisa Gorzycki, a master’s in sport management major who earned her BBA in marketing from Mays Business School. “But, we still had to compete.”

Each of the seven teams in the competition was presented with the same sports industry dilemma involving NASCAR sponsorships and sales promotion. They had a mere 24 hours to draft a solution and a 20-minute presentation for the panel of judges.

“We really had to pump ourselves up before our presentation,” said Gorzycki. This was a familiar concept to the Aggie team, as they are all current or former Aggie athletes, representing the softball, baseball and rodeo teams.

“None of us were NASCAR fans, and we had a very limited knowledge of the sport,” said teammate Blaine Gwinn, a master’s in marketing student, who is currently enrolled in a sports management class with teammate Bonner Cooper, another master’s in marketing major. The fourth teammate was Khalid Ballouli, a master’s in sport management student.

The team’s relative inexperience worked to their advantage by leading them to create a radically different solution from their competitors. Their innovative solution caught the judges’ eye—and their vote.

“We just couldn’t believe it when they announced we were the winners,” said Gwinn. “A lot of the other teams had older students getting their MBAs in sport management, so we had felt a little disadvantaged.” Gwinn credits part of their victory to all of the presenting business students at Mays have to do in class. “All of the judges commented on our confidence in presentation,” she said.

The Aggie team’s victory is no small accomplishment. The team representing the A&M Sport Management program went up against the best programs in the country, says Gregg Bennett, assistant professor of health and kinesiology, who worked with the team. “I cannot emphasize enough how much of an honor this is for these students and our program,” he said.

The National Sports Forum annually brings together a large audience of executives in team sports marketing, sales, promotions, and event entertainment from a broad spectrum of teams and leagues. This year the conference attracted 800 attendees and was held in Memphis, Tennessee.

Categories: Students