The University of Mississippi’s Patterson School of Accountancy recently named Kendall Bowlin as the inaugural holder of the Ed Krei Chair of Accountancy.
“Being named the first Ed Krei Chair of Accountancy is a tremendous honor, and I am grateful for Mr. Krei's generous support of our school, faculty and students,” Bowlin said. “The success that our students and faculty have had, and continue to have, is a result of the wonderful financial support and friendship provided by Ed Krei and other alumni.”
In 2009, Barbara and Ed Krei of Edmond, Oklahoma, established the Edward Krei Lectureship in Accountancy. In 2015, they generously elevated their endowment to the chair level, with more than $1.5 million committed to sustaining and strengthening the Patterson School faculty. The endowment provides salary supplements, research and creative activity support, and other funding deemed appropriate by the dean.
“We are deeply grateful to Barbara and Ed Krei for establishing the Krei Chair of Accountancy at Ole Miss,” said Dean Mark Wilder. “Ed has enjoyed an exceptional career and we are proud to have him as an alumnus and also as a member of the Patterson School Hall of Fame.
“We are humbled by the Kreis’ generosity. Their vision to support our faculty will enable the Patterson School to continue building on its strong teaching and mentoring tradition, a trademark of our program and a key reason for the successes that we enjoy.”
All three degree programs at the Patterson School are among the top 10 in the 2017 annual national rankings of accounting programs published by the Public Accounting Report. The undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs are all ranked no. 8 nationally. The master’s program leads the Southeastern Conference in the rankings and the undergraduate program is second in the SEC. One or more Ole Miss accountancy programs have led the SEC in the rankings in each of the past seven years.
Wilder said Bowlin’s appointment to the chair is well deserved: “Dr. Bowlin is enjoying an outstanding career at Ole Miss. He is one of the bright, young minds in our profession and is a national leader in auditing research. His presence on our faculty has enabled us to attract other top faculty and doctoral students to the Patterson School. We are fortunate to have him.”
Bowlin joined the Patterson School faculty in 2008 after earning his doctorate degree at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to his doctoral studies, he received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the UM School of Business Administration and a master’s degree in accountancy from the Patterson School in 1998 and 1999, respectively. He then spent four years as an auditor with Ernst & Young in Memphis, Tennessee.
“I very much appreciate Mr. Krei's and Dean Wilder's confidence in appointing me to hold the Krei Chair, and I hope to justify their confidence through a devotion to our students, our alumni and my colleagues in the Patterson School,” Bowlin said. “The establishment of the chair represents continued and growing faculty support from our alumni. This support allows the Patterson School to recruit and retain high-quality faculty, who will, in turn, commit to the development of our students and accounting leaders of the future.”
Ed Krei enjoyed an outstanding career as managing director and board member for the Baker Group in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Baker Group is an institutional fixed-income firm primarily serving community banks throughout the nation. For 21 years he has represented the Baker Group, helping client organizations develop strategies and plan for the future.
Krei earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accountancy from UM in 1973. He said the endowment is meant to provide an “eternal flame,” commemorating the education he received.
“I think the Patterson School is an excellent investment because of its faculty members,” Krei said. “Their passion is so evident, and they really excite students about their field. And now, with the speaking engagements I have, I find myself emulating what I learned from them.”
The Kreis met at UM as freshman members of the Pride of the South Marching Band. Barbara Krei graduated from what is now the School of Applied Sciences and has enjoyed a career as a speech pathologist in the Putnam City Schools in Oklahoma City. The Kreis’ adult children, Lauren and Barrett, live in Nashville, Tennessee, where they work in health care.
“The Kreis’ investment in our faculty will provide benefits for many generations of future Ole Miss accountancy students,” Wilder said.
The Ed Krei Lectureship in Accountancy Endowment is open to gifts from individuals and organizations. To contribute, send checks with the endowment name noted in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., University, MS 38655; or visit www.umfoundation.com/makeagift.
For more information on ways to support the Patterson School of Accountancy, contact Brooke Barnes, director of development, at email@example.com or 662-915-1993.
By J. Dillon Pitts