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Calloway School to host Diversity Consortium

January 2, 2008

As part of an ongoing diversity initiative, Wake Forest University’s Calloway School of Business and Accountancy is inviting top candidates from historically black colleges and universities to a three-day, on-site introduction to its Master of Science in Accountancy program.

The Calloway Accounting Diversity Consortium, sponsored by the accounting firm Ernst & Young, will be held Jan. 10–12 at Wake Forest.  The conference builds on a successful summit Wake Forest hosted last January with business school deans frrom Hampton University, Winston-Salem State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Florida A&M University, North Carolina Central University and Morehouse College (all historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs).  Ernst & Young also sponsored that event.

Students attending the consortium will meet with faculty members, current students and alumni of the Calloway School and representatives from Ernst & Young to learn about the curriculum, the admissions process and the career value of a master’s degree in accounting.  The consortium will include formal presentations, panel discussions, a tour of the campus and opportunities for informal discussions during meals.

"Through this conference, we have created a forum to reach minority business students who are considering graduate studies in accounting but might not be aware of the opportunities for them here at Wake Forest, ” said Debra Jessup, Calloway School lecturer in business and director of diversity initiatives.  “We are fortunate to have cultivated strong relationships with a number of HBCUs around the country, and we’re grateful for the support of Ernst & Young in sponsoring this event.”

A 2005 study by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants found that while black students represented 11 percent of undergraduate accounting majors nationally, that figure dropped to 5 percent of total enrollment in programs offering a master’s degree in accounting.  The same study reported that blacks comprised 2 percent or less of the total professional staffs employed by AICPA member firms.  Since 1969, the AICPA has maintained a Minority Initiatives program aimed at raising the proportion of minorities employed in the accounting profession to equal their representation in the population at large.

“Wake Forest has committed to a bold and yet practical strategy to recruit highly talented, ethnically diverse students by first forging mutually beneficial relationships with historically black universities and other appropriate schools,” said Allen A. Boston, partner and director of campus and diversity recruiting for Ernst & Young. “The firm is committed to a diverse and inclusive environment and regards Wake Forest as a priority source school.  Accordingly, Ernst & Young is excited to be part of this effort to diversify and make even stronger the Calloway School’s highly regarded MSA program.”

Since 1997, when the Calloway School began offering a master’s degree in accounting, its graduates have consistently ranked first or second in the nation for their performance on the Certified Public Accountant exam, according to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. BusinessWeek magazine ranks the Calloway School 17th among the nation’s top 50 undergraduate business schools, and U.S. News & World Report ranks the school 27th.

While the event is not open to the public, interested members of the media may arrange to attend selected sessions and interview participants by contacting the Wake Forest News Service in advance at (336) 758-5237.

Press Contacts:

Eric Frazier
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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