Frank Wood ’74 recently donated $3 million to the Mason School of Business Accounting Program.
The gift, entitled the Frank J. Wood ’74 Excellence in Accounting Endowment, will affect faculty and students directly and will take the form of an endowed gift.
“The way endowed gifts work [is], once the gift is fully funded, which takes a number of years, it will generate $150,000 a year for the accounting department in perpetuity,” Mason School Executive Director of Development Mark Begly said. “Those funds will be used for faculty fellowships, Masters in Accounting scholarships, and then something that we’re calling program differentiators, or curriculum differentiators — basically, some different things that we can do within the program that give students experiences.”
Begly expects the gift to ultimately strengthen the faculty ‘s capabilities.
“I think the long term impact is that it will help us to both attract and retain professors because it generates faculty fellowships, so that’s an attraction to people that might be coming new, or people that are in the tenure track here now,” Begly said.
With the increased funding, the business school hopes to attract a growing number of students for undergraduate and graduate studies.
“Right now, we have students who may choose to go to other schools because they get a more attractive scholarship offer, and this is going to help give us additional scholarship money to be able to attract our best students, some of whom are William and Mary undergrads that we would love to [have] stay here and do their Masters,” Begly said.
Wood graduated from the College of William and Mary with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration and now serves on the Mason School Accounting Programs Board.
“I’ve been part of that board for about six years — two terms — and that’s given me a lot of opportunity to understand what the financial requirements of the accounting program are, and that was probably the primary thing that caused me to make the gift to the accounting program,” Wood said.
Students supported Wood’s choice of recipient.
“I think if you donate $3 million, you can decide where it goes,” Taylor Furmanski ’13, a business school student with a concentration in finance, said.
Although the gift will take years to build up to its full amount, scholarships will be available beginning next academic year.
“I do have a strong dedication to William and Mary, wanting to see the school continue to do what it does very well, which, I think, is provide an excellent education, plus, hopefully, provide some ability for improvement as time goes on,” Wood said. “In a sense, it was just an opportunity to give back for my education and all that.”