La Salle University has partnered with KPMG to establish an endowed professorship through the financial support of more than 75 alumni who are presently or were previously employed by the Big Four accounting firm.
The KPMG Endowed Professorship in Accounting is a three-year term professorship that recognizes teaching excellence of a full-time faculty member in the Department of Accounting at La Salle’s School of Business. Kristin Wentzel, ’90, Ph.D., who serves as chair and professor of the accounting department, is the inaugural recipient of the term professorship, beginning in the 2021-22 academic year.
The KPMG Endowed Professorship in Accounting is the second endowed professorship in La Salle’s School of Business. And for School of Business interim dean Yusuf Ugras, Ph.D., it creates a competitive advantage for La Salle students looking to enter the accounting industry. Ugras pointed to the Department of Accounting’s “tremendous history” with alumni in premier public accounting firms like KPMG, which has made more than 60 full-time hires of La Salle graduates over the last decade.
“The establishment of this endowed professorship is external validation of the outcomes of our accounting program, which not only focuses on traditional accounting topics but also incorporates recent topics such as analytics and forensics implementation,” said Ugras, also an associate professor of accounting.
“Our network is strong. That’s who we are—a family. Our alumni take great pride on helping today’s students secure jobs and flourish professionally, and this endowment is just the latest example of that commitment.”
-Kristin Wentzel, ’90, Ph.D.
The School of Business can utilize the endowment in myriad ways, like financing attendance at seminars and conferences, welcoming high-profile speakers to the University, and delivering academic training for students, including practice and preparation for uniform certified public accountant (CPA) examination.
“The establishment of the KPMG Endowed Professorship shows the fondness and strong connection La Salle alumni have for the faculty and the Department of Accounting,” Wentzel said. “Our network is strong. That’s who we are—a family. Our alumni take great pride on helping today’s students secure jobs and flourish professionally, and this endowment is just the latest example of that commitment.”
Ed Chiosso, ’98, and Dave Greed, ’89, partners at KPMG, played an integral role in establishing the KPMG Endowed Professorship in Accounting, bringing together more than 75 alumni employed by KPMG to contribute to the endowment over the last 10 years. All told, employee and partner contributions to La Salle over the last decade, with a corporate match through the KPMG Foundation, exceeded $515,000.
“Your desire to make a difference in life, that starts at La Salle,” said Chiosso, a partner in the audit practice of KPMG’s Philadelphia office. “La Salle teaches you about the philanthropic spirit of giving back to your community and I’ve always found ways to carry that on throughout my life.”
“The endowment will provide a long-term, perpetual stream of funding for the Department of Accounting, creating opportunities for academic and professional advancement for our students and faculty, alike,” said Dan Joyce, M.A. ’01, La Salle’s Vice President of Advancement. “The KPMG Endowed Professorship will provide for La Salle’s students for years to come, and we are grateful to our passionate and philanthropic alumni for their generous contributions.”
—Christopher A. Vito