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Successful Graduate’s Gift Fuels School of Accountancy’s New Building Campaign
Members of the Karnis family are (from left) Luke, Alexander, Daniel, Eva and Darlene (seated).

Daniel Karnis is among the most recent of many University of Mississippi alumni offering their support for the Patterson School of Accountancy’s new home on the Oxford campus.

The Pasadena, California, resident’s $50,000 gift is being matched by Ernst & Young (EY), the firm where Karnis has worked for the past decade. His gift will help fund the construction of the planned four-story facility, estimated to cost over $100 million, that will feature tiered auditoriums and classrooms, study areas, conference rooms, administrative and faculty office suites, and outdoor balconies and terraces.

“I was incredibly fortunate to attend Ole Miss as an international student,” said Karnis, a native of Slovakia (the former Czechoslovakia). “I took advantage of the school’s resources, its differentiating faculty who embraced me and invested in me, and I owe them a debt of gratitude that I will never be able to fully repay.”

Artist’s rendering of the new Patterson School of Accountancy building

Mark Wilder, dean of the Patterson School, expressed gratitude for Karnis’s gift.

“Daniel has worked in the Big 4 environment since graduating from Ole Miss and is enjoying an outstanding career. He is a wonderful advocate for Ole Miss and the Patterson School, and is a great role model for our students,” the dean said. “We are proud to have Daniel as one of our most outstanding alumni, and I’m so grateful to him for his generous support of our new building.”

“This new facility will help tremendously in recruiting, students, faculty and staff – and will enable the Patterson School and university to reach new heights of excellence.”

Karnis, who earned degrees in accountancy and business administration from Ole Miss in 1998, is a tax partner in EY’s Los Angeles, California, office and works in the federal tax advisory national practice, with teams in all major international locations.

He serves EY clients by providing specialized tax planning in the areas of accounting methods, capitalization and cost recovery, revenue recognition, global credits and incentives and more. He also collaborates with other tax specialty areas, such as indirect tax, international tax and transfer pricing, to deliver high-value solutions and strategies to clients based on their business needs and objectives.

Additionally, Karnis helps clients address their data issues, using EY-developed AI solutions that can be deployed on their data to efficiently identify potential opportunities as well as areas that may benefit from additional scrutiny and analysis.

Mark Wilder

“Our ethos is to provide our clients with excellent service and support them on their journeys as they manage and grow their businesses wherever they may be,” said Karnis, adding that in reflecting on his career path, he has felt compelled to give back to the Patterson School.

“Like all the PSOA alumni, we want nothing more than for the school to continue reaching for new heights and creating an environment for the faculty and the students to thrive,” the donor said. “I believe the Patterson School is changing the world by forming future generations of leaders who will continue contributing in every facet of our society.”

Recognized as one of the best accountancy schools in the nation, the PSOA continues to have strong enrollment and sought-after accountancy programs that are expanding. These are some of the factors behind the campaign to construct the academic building that will serve as an impressive gateway to campus when it is built on the corner of University Avenue and Grove Loop.

“I had made a decision to contribute to the PSOA; however, an opportunity to double the impact of my gift to the PSOA was a contributing factor and an added incentive to make a gift,” Karnis said.

The Matching Gifts for Higher Education Program, sponsored by the Ernst & Young Foundation, matches eligible gifts to higher education with the intended focus on academic opportunity and excellence. The program creates a formal link between the firm’s business strategy and its investment in university relations.

“The Patterson School’s challenging and rigorous academic programs from bachelor’s and all the way up to the Ph.D. program are amongst the very best in the nation, so all I really needed to do was to apply my talents and my drive to succeed to reap the benefits as I embarked on my professional journey,” Karnis said.

He and his wife, Darlene, have three children: Luke, who will be a freshman this fall, Alexander and Eva.

To make a gift online, visit the Patterson School of Accountancy Building Fund. To learn about supporting the accountancy building construction or to establish an endowment, contact Jason McCormick, executive director for development, at or 662-915-1757.

By Bill Dabney/UM Foundation


Online gifts for the 2024 calendar year should be made no later than noon on December 31, 2024.  Checks by mail will need to be postmarked by December 31 to be counted in the 2024 calendar year.