Client Spotlight: Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy, Mississippi State University

June 5, 2014 § Leave a comment


Quest’s clients do some impressive things. Now and then we highlight them here in Q4U so you can get to know them. This time, we’re focusing on the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy at Mississippi State University.

Part of the MSU College of Business, the accounting program was chartered as a school in 1979. In 2007, it was named for alumnus Richard Adkerson, the president, CEO and vice chairman of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc. At that time, Adkerson established a multi-million dollar endowment to support school operations and faculty, and he continues to contribute his time and financial support today. The support of Adkerson along with numerous other major supporters allow the School to grow, prosper and provide a quality educational experience for the MSU accounting student

The Adkerson School of Accountancy has an annual enrollment of about 420 undergraduates and 45 graduate students. It offers Bachelor of Accountancy, Master of Public Accountancy and Master of Taxation degrees.

gradssmall“Our aim is for our graduates to be highly productive and effective from the moment they begin their careers,” says interim director Dr. Frances McNair. “The foundation is excellent teaching and support of the students. In addition, we seek every opportunity to give students professional working experience, connections to others in the field and a sense of commitment to profession and community. And, if we can help them leave here with a job and little debt, they’ll have a strong start.”

The cost of a college education can be a burden, so school administrators pursue external funds to help ease the burden and allow students to focus on their studies. For the next academic year, more than $75,000 in scholarships and more than $190,000 in graduate assistantships have been awarded.

A faculty of 14 accounting professors is involved in the educational experience of the student at Mississippi State University. An emphasis is placed on the core concepts and principles of financial and managerial accounting and taxation. The faculty are also involved with students as advisors, research directors and organization sponsors. They command respect beyond MSU as well, boasting many awards and publishing accolades.

The School benefits from an Advisory Council of accounting professionals, many of whom are alumni, who act as a sounding board for faculty regarding current issues of the profession and the practical application of classroom teaching.

Education isn’t limited to the classroom. Through an active Beta Alpha Psi chapter, students hear from leading professionals, make connections with peers at national and regional meetings and contribute their skills to help those in need. Currently in the planning stages are two new student organizations that will foster leadership by women and minorities in accounting.

Practical experience is perhaps the strongest advantage for a graduate seeking or starting a new position. The School, along with the university’s Career Center, facilitates internships for upperclassmen with Big 4, national and regional firms and with corporations like FedEx or Georgia-Pacific. The companies often invite their MSU interns to return in permanent positions following graduation. Students also meet potential employers through school-sponsored career fairs and other recruiting events.

Always looking ahead, the school has begun planning a new summer camp for 2015. It will offer high school juniors creative and interesting ways to explore accounting as a career option. Reaching out to these young students will help them to become aware of career possibilities, and it will help the Adkerson School of Accountancy educate the best and brightest for the future.

Keep up with the students, alumni and faculty of the Adkerson School of Accountancy at


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