$1M Gift Ushers in New Era for Fisher’s Accounting Program
A $1 million gift, given by St. John Fisher College alumni John ’71 and Carol ’74 (Sloan) Almeter, will usher in a new era for the School of Business accounting program by creating opportunities to invest in innovative technology and establishing a scholarship for students.
“We are so grateful to John and Carol for offering their support to the Fisher Forward campaign and to the School of Business,” said Dr. Gerard J. Rooney, president of the College. “Through their generosity, the accounting program, which has been a source of immense pride and distinction for the College and for our alumni, will have the resources to evolve and continue to deliver a cutting-edge education for future Fisher accountants. This will build on our tradition of excellence in accounting education and in graduating practitioners who will become leaders in the field. Additionally, the gift will enable us to provide access to students who will be best served by our AACSB-accredited accounting program.”
As a discipline, accounting has been a part of the fabric of Fisher’s curricular offerings since the College’s inception. Over the last 70 years, the program has attracted a talented pool of faculty and enjoyed robust enrollment. In the last decade alone, more than 530 students have majored in accounting, and nearly 100 percent of accounting graduates are employed before graduation and/or accepted into graduate school, or find full-time employment within three months of graduation. The Fisher accounting alumni network is equally as strong, with graduates working at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, and KPMG, as well as The Bonadio Group, Harris Corporation, Paychex, Constellation Brands, and Insero & Company, among others.
Dr. Omar Watts, CPA, an alumnus of the accounting program and current assistant professor, has helped lead innovative teaching and learning efforts within the department. He said the Almeter’s gift will allow faculty to further sharpen their pedagogy.
“We take pride in success that we’ve had in educating students who are agile in their mindset and ready for anything their careers bring,” said Watts. “We are appreciative to the Almeters—this gift will sustain our legacy as pioneers in accounting education.”
The gift will support two separate funds for the program. The John and Carol Sloan Almeter Accounting Scholars Fund will help accounting students offset the cost of tuition, enabling the College to attract the best and brightest students into the program. The John and Carol Sloan Almeter Fund for Accounting Innovation will allow the School to invest in technologies and resources in areas including data analytics, accounting information systems, and forensic accounting. It will also support faculty training and curriculum development, executives-in-residence who can bring significant expertise and networks to the program, speakers, and software and technology acquisitions and training for faculty and students.
“In our business lives, we’ve seen what innovation and technology can enable someone to accomplish, and we know that the body of knowledge required of today’s students is expanding rapidly,” said John Almeter. “Through this gift we hope to open doors into the fields of analytics and artificial intelligence and fund resources that will enhance analytical thinking and creativity for faculty and students.”
The Almeters, who met while volunteering at an alumni phone-a-thon in 1978, have a long history of supporting the College. They have opened their home for gatherings of alumni and students, creating a strong network of Cardinals in the Greater Atlanta, Georgia region. They have served as chairs of the Fisher Alumni Fund, were co-captains of the Southeastern region during the College’s Vision 2020 fundraising campaign, and are charter members of the Spire Society, the College’s leadership giving society. In 2018, the School of Business awarded John, a CPA and retired construction executive, with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the accounting profession and continued support for the College.
“We cherish the foundation in accounting and business education that we received, along with the lifelong relationships we have formed through Fisher,” Carol said. A trailblazer in her own right, Carol was among the first women graduates of the College and today is a licensed realtor in the Atlanta area. “It is our hope that these gifts will support learning and growth through technology resources and provide a Fisher accounting education for those who will benefit from it most.”