Friends of Will Pugh Dedicate Haslam Building
Classroom in his Honor
KNOXVILLE, TN — Prominent East Tennessee businessman Will Pugh recently was honored with the naming of the Will J. Pugh Classroom in the College of Business Administration’s new James A. Haslam II Business Building. Pugh founded Pugh & Company, P.C. in 1969, one of the area’s largest and most successful accounting firms.
This gift is part of the Campaign for Tennessee, a $1 billion fundraising effort at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
“This classroom honors Will’s many years of unselfish service to his profession and community and gives students, faculty, and others the opportunity to learn from his example,” said Larry Elmore, president of Pugh & Company. “Will has dedicated his life to improving accounting education and the accounting profession. Although born and raised in Alabama, Will has ‘bled orange’ since his 1961 graduation from the College of Business Administration. For more than 40 years, he has worked enthusiastically on behalf of students and professionals to improve the accounting profession.”
Pugh & Company officers and friends of the firm donated over $165,000, including $82,500 from the officers of the firm, to name a third-floor classroom in Pugh’s honor. “I think it took less than five minutes to raise the money from the officers!!” commented Elmore, who headed the internal fundraising effort.
Spearheading the community effort was Joe Johnson, president emeritus of the University of Tennessee and lifetime member of the college’s Advisory Council to the Dean. Knowing Pugh for over 30 years, Johnson said that the advice, counsel, and support that Pugh has given to the university has added untold value to its fundraising efforts.
“Raising money for this classroom was a very easy undertaking because of the high regard that the community has for Will as a person, professional, and volunteer,” said Johnson. “This lasting tribute will continue to signify Will’s contributions to the profession of accounting.”
The fundraising efforts were done without Pugh’s knowledge. “Will was so appreciative and humbled by our unanimous show of affection and support,” continued Elmore. Attesting to the core values of the firm, many of the clients who joined Pugh & Company at its beginning remain as clients today.
“I was in disbelief when I heard about the naming,” Pugh said. “I am so grateful to my colleagues and community for honoring me in this way. The Haslam Business Building is the most incredible educational facility I have ever seen. It should attract the best and brightest to the college. The education I received at UT formed the foundation for my success, and I’m delighted to be associated with such a great institution.”
Pugh has served his profession and community in many capacities. He served for 18 years on the Tennessee State Board of Accountancy, for which he was chairman for six years; the boards of the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy; and the Council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He also has served on a number of civic, charitable, and non-profit boards.
Pugh helped draft changes to the Tennessee Accountancy law that improved professional and ethical standards in the accounting profession, which will benefit future generations.
The money raised will support technology in the Will J. Pugh Classroom and fund the Pugh Excellence in Accounting Endowment. This endowment, in addition to other endowments previously established by the firm, will support undergraduate scholarships; graduate fellowships and teaching assistantships; outstanding faculty awards for teaching/research efforts; technology; and other functions related to the Department of Accounting and Information Management’s mission and operation.
The Campaign for Tennessee — the most ambitious effort in the university's 214-year history -- places UT among the ranks of the nation's largest public and private institutions that have sought this level of private support.
The campaign, which launched its silent phase in 2005, will secure private gifts that, in turn, will contribute substantially to the distinct, but linked, campuses comprised by the University of Tennessee system. Funds raised through the campaign will directly support the objectives of UT's strategic plan, as outlined by UT President John Petersen. Among those objectives are improved student access and success, research and economic development, outreach and globalization.
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About The University of Tennessee College of Business Administration
The mission of the University of Tennessee College of Business Administration in Knoxville, Tennessee, is to provide innovative leadership in management research education and practice. The College consistently breaks new ground with both its scholarship and award-winning, integrated curriculum that is taught within its undergraduate, graduate and nationally recognized executive education programs. The College is fully accredited by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. For more information about the University of Tennessee College of Business Administration, visit http://bus.utk.edu