Growing up in Jackson, Mississippi, Charles Clark developed a love for University of Mississippi football leading him to enroll at Ole Miss, but it was advice from a professor that began his life-long connection with the Patterson School of Accountancy.
“I did well in my accounting classes, and Professor H.E. ‘Gene’ Peery, who was a great mentor and just an outstanding person, encouraged me to major in accountancy,” said Clark, a resident of Birmingham, Alabama, and a 1972 Ole Miss business administration graduate and 1975 University of Southern California business taxation graduate.
Clark, and his wife, Ginger, are continuing their long support of the university with a $150,000 gift to the Patterson School of Accountancy Building Fund. In recognition of the gift, the school will name the “Charles and Ginger Clark Porch” honoring the couple in its new academic home.
Charles Clark is a member of the Patterson School’s advisory board and Now & Ever: The Campaign for Ole Miss steering committee for accountancy and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2012. He also served as national president of the Ole Miss Alumni Association and continues to be engaged with the organization.
“Charles and Ginger have been strong and generous supporters of the Patterson School of Accountancy for many years,” said Morris H. Stocks, the Don Jones Chair of Accountancy.
“I believe this wonderful, new academic facility will help us move toward our goal of being the top accounting program in the country, and the faithful support of our alumni and friends is critical to our success. Charles and Ginger Clark set the standard in this regard.”
Earlier this year, Big4AccountingFirms.org released a list of the “50 Best Accounting Schools in the USA,” and the Patterson School was ranked No. 8 nationally and No. 1 in the SEC. During the 2020-2021 school year, the school granted a record 588 degrees – with 253 being master’s degrees.
“The best analogy I can give for the new accountancy building is a sports analogy — continuous improvements must be made to athletics facilities to attract and recruit outstanding athletes,” said Clark.
“The same is true for academics. The Patterson School of Accountancy is one of the elite accounting programs in the country, but to maintain excellence in student and faculty recruitment we must continue to improve our facilities.”
The Patterson School of Accountancy’s new building will be world class and will ensure that Ole Miss has the finest accounting academic facility in the U.S. for years to come.
“Ginger and I want to be a part of this, even if in just a small way, and I am confident that many of our alumni will also want to be a part of this,” Clark said.
The new four-story, 100,000-square-foot building is to be constructed at the corner of Grove Loop and University Avenue in the heart of campus, overlooking the historic Grove.
“The new home for the Patterson School will be one of the finest buildings on our campus,” said Jason McCormick, director of development. “It’s a big undertaking, and we could not do it without support from our alumni like Charles and Ginger. We are extremely grateful for not only this gift but also for their support of the Patterson School of Accountancy through the years.”
In 2002, the Clarks established the Charles C. and Ginger Clark Accountancy Scholarship Endowment, which has grown to more than $200,000 and supported numerous Ole Miss students pursuing degrees in the School of Accountancy. The couple also established the Ginger Guice Clark Council Scholarship in Memory of Frances Rivers Clark and Jo Hornsby Guice Endowment with a testamentary gift of $125,000 in support of the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy.
“I love Ole Miss and her people,” said Clark, who serves as a board member of AQ2 Technologies and MCM Technologies. “One of the great rewards of our accountancy scholarship endowment came when the scholarship was awarded to the granddaughter of my former mentor, Professor Peery, who did so much for me.
“The faculty at the Patterson School are genuinely interested in their students; the university administration fully supports the school; and our alumni, Professional Advisory Council and the firms who hire our graduates have been an integral part of the success,” he continued.
“Being a small part of this success story is very gratifying to me.”
The Charles C. and Ginger Clark Accountancy Scholarship Endowment is open to gifts from individuals and organizations. Checks may be mailed to the University of Mississippi Foundation, with the endowment noted in the memo line, to 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655. Gifts can also be made online by visiting https://give.olemiss.edu.
To learn more about supporting the Patterson School of Accountancy, contact Jason McCormick, director of development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-915-1757.
By Mary Stanton Knight/UM Development