USF Accounting School Takes Name of Successful Alum
UPDATE AT 3:30 p.m. with comments from the announcement ceremony
Last year, the University of South Florida College of Business became the Muma College of Business, thanks to a $25 million gift from USF supporters Pam and Les Muma.
Now, another long-time USF donor is stepping up. The college's School of Accountancy is now named "the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy," after the former Raymond James executive gave $10 million to the school.
Lynn Pippenger, who received both her undergraduate degree in accountancy and an Executive MBA from USF, has donated a total of around $22.5 million to USF, most to the Muma College of Business.
With the name change, it's believed that the USF School of Accountancy is the first accounting school in the world named solely after a woman - but Pippenger doesn't feel like a 'role model' for women in the accounting industry.
"Women have been accountants for a long time and I think some of our best ones are women - they're more detailed oriented than some of the guys," she said.
Speaking at a ceremony announcing the name change Tuesday, Pippenger - who normally prefers to stay out of the limelight - shared her feelings.
"The best part of doing this now is that I'll have some years to see the results of the Muma College of Business and the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy," she said with a long pause and sigh before saying her own name, drawing laughs from the crowd.
Pippenger received both her undergraduate and Executive MBA degrees from USF. She worked for Raymond James for more than forty years, starting as a payroll clerk in 1969 when it was a small firm. She moved her way up the corporate ladder and eventually became chief financial officer and treasurer before retiring in 2012 as senior vice president.
She helped create the firm's Human Resources Department and was the architect for much of its information technology systems, bringing in the company's first computer. She eventually helped file the paperwork that took the company public. It now has more than 6,200 financial advisors worldwide serving about 2.6 million accounts.
Before Tuesday's formal announcement of the school's new name, WUSF 89.7 News conducted an exclusive interview with USF Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem and Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy Director Uday Murthy.
"We cannot be happier and more honored today to put two wonderful names of our community - the Mumas and the Pippengers together," Limayem said. "They are shaping business education in the Tampa Bay area and I cannot be happier, everyone at the Muma College of Business could not be prouder."
"She must have seen something in us that she felt was worth investing in, so we really feel humbled and we will really do all we can to take the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy to even greater heights," Murthy added.
You can hear more about what the donation will mean to the Pippenger School of Accountancy's students, faculty and programs in the interview above. We'll have more details on the announcement in an upcoming University Beat.