Accountancy alumni and friends honor Kieso

More than $1 million pledged for endowed chair

Ten former students (along with their spouses) have joined together to raise more than $1 million to create the Donald E. Kieso Endowed Chair in Accountancy in Northern Illinois University’s nationally ranked accounting program.

Kieso, a member of the faculty at NIU from 1963 until 1992, currently holds the title of Peat Marwick Emeritus Professor in the NIU College of Business. During his career he taught thousands of NIU students and helped build the program to national prominence. Under his leadership, in 1985, the program’s graduates achieved the top pass rate in the nation on the CPA Exam, and have continued to place in the top 25 almost every year since.

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Pictured from left to right: Jerry Weygandt, Enid Weygandt, Bob Peterson, Debbie Peterson, Kevin Cleary, Roberta Cleary, Don Kieso (seated) Jeff Eckmann, Paula LeRoy, Bill LeRoy, Chris Cole, Tim Cole, Mary Burge and Gary Burge

In addition to teaching students at NIU and nurturing their careers, Kieso also wrote an intermediate accounting textbook (co-authored by his former student Jerry Weygandt) which is now in its 14th edition, has been a top seller for more than two decades and is used in accounting classes across the globe.

Kieso also is credited with developing one of the first accountancy internship programs in the country. During his time at NIU, he helped more than 600 students land internships, which many of those alumni credit with launching their professional careers. Such devotion to student success made an impact on those he taught and those who worked alongside of him.

“Whether I am speaking with alumni, faculty, or business professionals, I hear stories of how Don Kieso significantly impacted a life,” says Denise Schoenbachler, dean of the NIU College of Business.  “His influence on the college and on the accounting profession remains to this day, and this endowed chair ensures that his legacy of excellence will be forever present at NIU.”

The endowed chair, the first ever in the NIU College of Business, will help the college recruit a top tier  faculty member to ensure that the legacy of excellence that Kieso helped build continues for years to come.

“I’ve often talked about the importance of protecting our legacy and securing our future,” said Jim Young, the current chair of the NIU Department of Accountancy.  “This endowed chair accomplishes both of those objectives. In today’s higher education environment, and especially in accounting, top faculty are in high demand. The prestige associated with an endowed chair will help us recruit a preeminent faculty member and perpetuate the legacy of excellence Don helped establish at NIU.”

To date, more than $1 million has been raised to establish the chair, and organizers are hoping to push that amount to more than $1.5 million.

Those providing financial support for the creation of the chair are:

  • Gary (B.S. 1976) and Mary Burge
  • Kevin (B.S. 1976) and Roberta Cleary
  • Chris (B.S. 1975) and Tim Cole
  • Ralph (E.M.B.A.1989) and Maria de la Vega
  • Dean (B.S. 1964, M.S. 1969) and Brenda DuCray
  • Jeff (B.S. 1974) and Doreen Eckmann
  • Paul (B.S. 1976) and Karen (B.S. 1976) Keglevic
  • Bill (B.S. 1965) and Paula (B.S. 1966) LeRoy
  • Robert (B.S. 1978) and Debra (B.S. 1978) (Distel) Peterson
  • Jerry and Enid Weygandt

For more information on how to join this group of donors, please contact Anthony D’Andrea at (815) 753-1736 or adandrea@niu.edu.

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