The Turner School of Accountancy has surpassed its fundraising goal, raising more than $5.2 million in gifts and commitments from more than 285 donors.
In 2016, emeritus faculty member Thomas C. Turner donated $2.5 million to UNC Charlotte to provide scholarship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing accounting degrees. The goal was to successfully match his gift. Since Turner’s gift, another $2.7-plus million has been raised from hundreds of individuals and many firms.
Turner helped establish the Accounting Department at UNC Charlotte and remained dedicated to the University throughout his life. Turner passed away Feb. 21, 2018, at the age of 88. During his 25-year tenure at the University before retiring in 1991, Turner helped oversee the maturation of the accounting department that became the Turner School of Accountancy in 2016.
Turner’s passion was to teach, and to help students wherever they were—from students who were returning to school after serving in the military, to those who worked factory jobs when not in school, to single mothers who were seeking a better living.
As part of the UNC Charlotte accounting fundraising campaign, Myron and Dorothy Caldwell chose to create an endowed scholarship.
“When the capital campaign for the Turner School of Accountancy began in 2016, my wife, Dorothy, and I were happy to contribute and establish an undergraduate accounting scholarship. The Accounting Department, as it was known when I graduated in 1981, prepared me for successfully passing the CPA exam on my first attempt and pursuing a meaningful career. That educational foundation was a springboard to a successful career in finance at Duke Energy. This scholarship was a way to express our appreciation and give back to the university and the newly named Turner School of Accountancy,” Myron Caldwell said.
Caldwell hopes the scholarship will encourage and inspire deserving students to pursue careers in accounting.
“I know from personal experience, paying for a college education can be a challenge. I worked a part-time job throughout high school and college, using the money I saved to pay for my college education. Today, there are many students in similar situations balancing their educational pursuits with financial pressures. Funds from scholarships, along with the associated recognition, can help reduce their financial burdens and provide the additional encouragement they need to complete their education,” he said. “It gives me great satisfaction that Dorothy and I may be making a meaningful contribution to a student’s future success.”
Accounting major Alam Zambrano is the first recipient of the Myron and Dorothy Caldwell Scholarship. He received the scholarship last spring.
“I felt honored that someone valued my hard work and believed in me and my abilities enough to help me with my tuition costs. As a full-time student who operates an online business and pays tuition out of pocket, it was incredibly difficult to manage my time and energy effectively. The scholarship took a large amount of pressure off my shoulders and has allowed me to find a balance between school and work,” Zambrano said.
Hughlene Burton, director of the Turner School of Accountancy, recognized the significant contributions of the school’s campaign committee. Robert Niblock, retired chairman, president and CEO of Lowe’s Companies Inc., served as honorary chair of the Turner School fundraising campaign. Gene Johnson, retired CEO of Fairpoint Communications, served as co-chair of the campaign. Campaign committee members included Myron Caldwell, Joseph Hanel, Susan Jamison, Carol Lowe, Beth Monaghan and David Wedding.
“Through the generous support of hundreds of alumni, faculty, retired faculty and friends, the Turner School of Accountancy has exceeded our fundraising goal. This accomplishment is directly due to the reputation of the program, and the support from the accounting community, including all of the Big 4 firms,” said Burton.
Dean Steven Ott of the Belk College of Business emphasized that the successful fundraising campaign demonstrates the school’s strong industry connections.
“The Turner School of Accountancy has deep connections with all of the major accounting firms and many firms of all sizes. These relationships began almost 50 years ago, many through Tom Turner, and have been built further as our faculty and college grew. We are thankful for the generous and sustained support for our accounting programs,” he said.
During the past 50 years, the Turner School of Accountancy has earned many accolades. Programs include an undergraduate accounting program and a Master of Accountancy program. Recently, 2 MACC alumni received the prestigious Elijah Watt Sells Award. Alumni of the school are partners in all of the major accounting firms in the region, leading law firms and in many other CPA firms, and have held senior leadership positions across many large corporations, including in C-suite roles at Fortune 500 companies. The school receives broad philanthropic support from all of the major accounting firms and Fortune 500 companies. Accounting firms and large companies in this region recruit interns and graduates from the school. Faculty members have won numerous university, state, and national awards, and they work closely with local firms to provide extensive professional development.