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Letter From the Chair

The last several issues I've talked about our Lilian F. Millsexcellence across all our dimensions - students, faculty and alumni - as part of an appeal to invest in our future. I appreciate so much your growing support. Thank you for reaching 9.2% annual giving at FYE 8/31/13, and thank you in advance for continuing the charge!

This issue includes a big focus on student stories. That resonates because I'm back in the classroom this semester teaching the Introduction to Taxation course. I'm reminded all over again what great students we have. Whatever the topic - depreciation, nontaxable exchanges, accounting for incomes taxes - they want to know about the real-world cutting edge applications - cost segregation studies, mergers and acquisitions, valuation allowances. They are a delight - in and out of the classroom. Just today one of the teaching assistants for the Tax Research class said that at her internship training last spring, the table of UT students took all the prizes for the training exercises. Tax Research professor Kristina Zvinakis and I were proud. Inside we also talkabout our latest MPA graduates furthering their accounting education in doctoral programs, our current MPA students balancing their MPA studies with the Longhorn Band and an Ultimate Frisbee competitor who’s part of the top-ranked team in the world.

The EY Ambassador Program gift is already bearing fruit.  Graduating student Frankie Loredo writes about the initial launch, and our 22 under-represented minority MPA students who were glad to convene for professional development, academic support, and mentorship.The mentoring is two-directional. Our student Ambassadors each have an EY professional mentor, and they each volunteer as a mentor themselves to a sophomore student. We think over the next several years that this program will create a natural bridge for early business students to succeed through the ACC311/312 classes and want to choose accounting as a major. In addition, our MPA admissions director Keri Ledezma can begin to tap the EY gift for recruiting scholarships this spring for the 2014-15 academic year. We have done more advertising of our program and this gift through various NABA and ALPFA conference outlets and through our statewide recruiting at other universities.Thank you EY! As always, I welcome your staying in touch, with advice, questions, or just a hello. Any time I get to speak to an alum of this great program, it's a high point in my day!

Lillian F. Mills, Chair, Department of Accounting