OXFORD, Miss. – Jackson-based accounting firm Horne LLP has created the Horne LLP Accountancy Excellence Endowment at the University of Mississippi with a gift of $100,000.

The endowment will support the UM Patterson School of Accountancy, which has a longstanding partnership with Horne.

“We have more than 40 Ole Miss graduates working at Horne and have more starting in the next few months,” said Ron Applewhite, a Horne partner who earned his accountancy degree from UM in 1975. “We all agreed that we have benefited personally and financially from our relationship with Ole Miss and the Patterson School of Accountancy, and we have an obligation to give back. We have always asked our team members to support their alma maters, and with the Ole Miss grads, it is an easy ask.”

The endowment will create a general fund for the Patterson School’s greatest needs, which include scholarships and faculty support, among other areas.

“We are grateful for Horne’s support as well as the time they give to our students,” said Mark Wilder, dean of the school. “Horne is a longtime supporter of the Patterson School and many of our graduates go on to rewarding careers with the firm. Clearly Horne is committed to helping provide our students with the best accounting education possible.”

Horne team members and UM alumni Terry Traylor, Joey Havens and Ginny Stearns have also made contributions to the endowment.

“The Patterson School provided me with the education that has helped me succeed throughout my career,” said Traylor, Horne Chief Operating Officer and partner, who earned his accountancy degree in 1987. “I grew up in Oxford and this gives me the opportunity to give back to the University that I grew up loving.  I hope this gift will assist the Patterson School with the resources they need to attract and retain professors and students and to prepare the students for the workplace.”

Havens, a 1980 graduate who is a Horne partner in charge and board member, agreed: “Ole Miss has achieved excellence today because of its great family of people.  Achieving and growing excellence requires significant investments in facilities, faculty and critical resources.  Thus it requires everyone to do their part.”  

Giving back is also a top priority for Stearns, a 2005 graduate and Horne senior associate.  “The opportunities I was given at Ole Miss were made possible by the generous donations from alumni and friends of the university,” she said. “I wanted to do my part to make sure current students were given the same opportunities I was while at Ole Miss.”

The 2008 Public Accounting Report ranked Horne one of the top 50 accounting and business advisory firms in the country. Horne has 13 offices in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana and Arizona.

The gift is part of the university’s MomentUM campaign, a four-year initiative to raise $200 million. Funds raised through the campaign, which ends in December 2008, will support scholarships, graduate fellowships, faculty support, a basketball practice facility, residential colleges and the new law school. Also in the plans are a cancer center at the UM Medical Center and a new building to house the School of Pharmacy, both in Jackson.

For more information on making a gift to the University of Mississippi, please visit http://www.umf.olemiss.edu/makeagift.

By Sonia Thompson