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Thomas J. Burns Challenge

Thomas J. Burns, professor emeritus in the Department of Accounting and MIS, never settled for less than his students' best. He passed away in 1996, leaving a lasting impact as a teacher, mentor, and scholar. Today, his vision continues through the Thomas J. Burns Accounting Honors Endowment Fund.

Thanks to the efforts of the Burns Trust, the endowment is empowering a new generation of accounting leaders through student scholarships in the Accounting Honors program, founded by Professor Burns in the late 1960s.

The Burns Trust recently increased its generous matching contribution to $425,000 -- and will continue to match gifts dollar for dollar. To date, alumni contributions and matching dollars total $550,000 toward the $850,000 goal.

To speak to someone about making a gift to the Burns Challenge, or to learn more about the different ways to support accounting and MIS, contact Fisher's Office of External Relations at (614) 292-2181 or visit us online.

  Graduation celebration

On a sunny Sunday in May, the second-largest graduating class in the history of The Ohio State University received diplomas. President Barack Obama addressed the crowd of graduates and their families inside Ohio Stadium. In the Department of Accounting and Management Information Systems, the 2012-2013 academic year saw 357 undergraduate degrees conferred, including 314 in accounting and 43 in MIS.

The Master of Accounting program, meanwhile, held its own graduation celebration two days prior inside the Ohio Union. Dave Evans, CFO at Battelle and an Accounting Honors alumnus ('85), served as the keynote speaker, sharing his insights and expertise with the more than 80 new MAcc alumni.

Congratulations, graduates!

  London bound

This summer, Accounting Honors students will go outside the classroom and across the pond to gain a firsthand look at the accounting standards-setting process through a visit to the International Accounting Standards Board in London.

The trip, led by Associate Professor Tzachi Zach, will also coincide with the board's week-long meeting this summer and includes opportunities to visit and engage accounting educators and practitioners at the University of Oxford and KPMG's London office -- providing students a more global perspective of accounting, auditing practice, and accounting standards.

The experiential learning opportunity, in collaboration with the University of Baltimore, was made possible through contributions by the Stephen D. (BSBA '85) and Anne O. Milligan Accounting Education Innovation Fund, KPMG, the Undergraduate Programs and Advising Office, and the Department of Accounting and MIS.

For a close look at the London experience, be sure to check out the upcoming fall issue of AMIS Review.

  Rewarding returns

While not everyone looks forward to tax season, MAcc students know it's an opportunity to hone their skills in a real-world setting and serve the community -- hallmarks of the Fisher experience.

For the 10th year, students took part in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, providing free tax preparation services to individuals and families in the Columbus area. MAcc students, with the help of Beta Alpha Psi members, committed more than 1,000 hours to prepare income tax returns for families and individuals with low-to-moderate incomes, resulting in $425,000 in total refunds.

"VITA was a fantastic learning experience from a technical tax skills aspect as well as a client relationship-building standpoint," said Sarah Hambley, a 2013 BSBA/MAcc (Accounting Honors) graduate. Founded at Fisher by tax professor William Raabe, the program has ensured the return of almost $5 million to the local community through tax refunds.

Read more about this year's VITA experience.

  Alumni spotlight
Spencer Payne (BSBA/MAcc '08, Accounting Honors)

Spencer is no stranger to new ventures. Following graduation, he backpacked across Europe for three months, returning stateside to spend three years with Deloitte Consulting's strategy and operations practice. Spencer then decided to venture into the entrepreneurial world and, for the past year, has held an executive role at SDC Nutrition, a high-growth nutritional supplements company based in Pittsburgh.

In the meantime, he competed in the CrossFit Games, where his team finished 19th worldwide.

"Pursuing a MAcc degree was easily the best decision I made at Ohio State," said Spencer, who recently returned to campus to share his experiences with new alumni at the MAcc graduation ceremony. "The diversity of opportunities available to MAcc graduates really speaks to the strengths of the program."