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Accounting Turns 100 - Let the Celebration Begin

Don't call them bean counters. They're really the storytellers of business. Dutifully recording, archiving, and reporting so much more than profits and losses. This fall, McCombs celebrates a century of educating accountants. And it just so happens we do it better than anyone else.

(We're not the only ones celebrating a centennial. See who else shares our anniversary year.)

Visit for details on the Centennial book and September 2012 celebration, and to share your memories, trivia, and photos of The University of Texas Department of Accounting.

Click image to enlarge.McCombs accounting statistics

Did You Know?

  • McCombs School of Business The ShackIn the ’70s, the department pushed to become its own separate school, like the School of Law, but the university administration was against it.
  • The original building was an old army barracks known as “The Shack.” (right)
  • Matt Polze, BBA ’99, MPA ’99, and Amy Troutman, BBA ’97, MPA ’97, created the Professional Program in Accounting at UT-Dallas, modeled on the McCombs’ five-year accounting program.
  • Professor William Cooper once taught “A Beautiful Mind” genius John Nash at the Carnegie Institute of Technology.
  • Brian LendeckyLecturer Brian Lendecky, BBA ’99, MPA ’99, has played in the World Series of Poker twice and has made a World Poker Tour final table.
  • McCombs offers international summer accounting programs in: Hong Kong, China; Paris, France; and Prague, Czech Republic
  • The department consistently ranks in the top four of research productivity in BYU’s Accounting Research Rankings. If the NCAA men's basketball tournament winners were based on each school's accounting productivity, UT would have been national champions in 2012 and 2010.
  • Students in the Accounting Practicum class volunteer to help low-income families file tax returns. They helped families claim more than $50 million in refunds and credits over the past six years.
  • Accounting was the most popular major at UT in the 1979-80 school year.

Notable Alumni

  • Elizabeth Yant, BBA ’77, MPA ’78, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Houston. Member, McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame. 
  • Gary Kelly, BBA ’77, accounting degree; chairman and CEO of Southwest Airlines
  • Sherron Watkins, BBA ’81, MPA ’82, Enron whistleblower, named one of Time’s Persons of the Year in 2002
  • Kevin Hegarty, MPA ’79, CFO UT Austin

University of Texas BBA Class of 1921


“My employers seemed like perfectly nice people … until they were being led away in handcuffs.” —Diane Kelly, BBA ’88, whose experiences with a handful of corrupt professionals led her to write “Death and Taxes,” a mystery novel series.

“My success depends on how effectively I help you succeed. I’ll tell you the truth and I expect the truth from you. I’ll do my best; I expect you to do your best. Help me and I’ll help you.”--Professor Glenn Welsch’s opening statement to his classes

1980s students“When I taught intro tax, one of the things we covered was like-kind exchanges, and there’s a rule that says if you exchange livestock of opposite sexes, that situation doesn’t qualify for like-kind treatment. On my exam, I had a situation of a taxpayer exchanging a bulldozer for a piece of land. At least six people raised their hands during the exam for clarification, and their question was, ‘What’s the sex of the bulldozer?’” —Anna Fowler, professor emeritus

“People may have thought of [accountants] as lacking in personality, or as being totally humorless, but at least they thought we were sound, we were honest. Dull as dishwater, for sure, but incorruptible. Enron, et al., has changed all that.” Michael Granof in the Alcalde, November 2002.

“My years as a doctoral student can be summed up in three words: ‘Glad that’s over.’”  —Kevin Jackson, BBA ’91, Ph.D. ’04

Ross Jennings and cheerleaders

“You will be faced with numerous choices in your careers that may seem trivial at first, but can become huge obstacles to you later as you strive to be ethical business leaders.” —Sherron Watkins, BBA ’81, MPA ’82, from her 2002 Commencement address. Time magazine named her one of its Persons of the year in 2002 for her role in revealing Enron’s financial misdeeds.

“…It does seem to me that in a very real sense this is a special age for accounting education. Rapid and important changes are upon us. The pace of demands on accountants has markedly quickened.”  —Charles Zlatkovich, professor emeritus (deceased), in a 1958 article on accounting education.

“When I arrived at [the Department of Accounting] in 1990, I was the third female to ever be on the tenure-track faculty. Anna Fowler and Sally Jones were the first two. Sally left shortly after I arrived, but Anna was at Texas until she retired about 15 years later. It took me about 20 years to realize the important role that Anna played in the department and how much she was my silent (yet strong) cheerleader. She was a woman way ahead of her time.”  —Lisa Koonce, Deloitte & Touche Endowed Chair in Accounting

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#1 Thank you for your comment,

Thank you for your comment, Mr. Mclean. Our selection was meant merely as a small sampling of the type of people who form our alumni base and who have risen to the top of a variety of fields. We're certainly proud to count Mr. Maresh as an alumnus!

#2 I was saddened to see that

I was saddened to see that you did not include the name of Frank Maresh (BBA/MPA sometime between 1961-1965) among the list of Notable Alumni. He rose to the rank of Vice-Chairman of KPMG before retirement. He's a huge supporter of UT and the business school.

#3 When I was getting my BBA in

When I was getting my BBA in Accounting (1967) and MPA (1969), I had no idea that I was in the best accounting program. But, I did realize that I got offers from everyone that I interviewed with through the UT placement center. I noted that I got most jobs/promotions that I wanted during my career. I was surprised that I was allowed to teach at three universities with no PHD and only my UT MPA. Thanks to everyone who made the UT accounting department so great!

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