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Published on October 5th, 2022 | by University of Mississippi

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Building Enduring Excellence: Charles Clarks’ Gift Supports New World-Class Accountancy Building

Growing up in Jackson, Charles Clark developed a love for Ole Miss football, leading him to enroll at the University of Mississippi, but it was advice from a professor that began his lifelong connection with the Patterson School of Accountancy.

“I did well in my accounting classes, and professor H.E. ‘Gene’ Peery, who was a great mentor and just an outstanding person, encouraged me to major in accountancy,” said Clark, a resident of Birmingham, Alabama, and a 1972 Ole Miss business administration graduate. He also earned a graduate degree in business taxation in 1975 from the University of Southern California.

Clark, and his wife, Ginger, are continuing their long support of the university with a $150,000 gift to the Patterson School of Accountancy Building Fund. In recognition of the gift, the school will name the Charles and Ginger Clark Porch honoring the couple in its new academic home.

Charles Clark is a member of the school’s advisory board and Now & Ever: The Campaign for Ole Miss steering committee for accountancy and was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2012. He also served as national president of the Ole Miss Alumni Association and continues to be engaged with the organization.

“Charles and Ginger have been strong and generous supporters of the Patterson School of Accountancy for many years,” said Morris H. Stocks, the Don Jones Chair of Accountancy.

“I believe this wonderful new academic facility will help us move toward our goal of being the top accounting program in the country, and the faithful support of our alumni and friends is critical to our success. Charles and Ginger Clark set the standard in this regard.”

Earlier this year, Big4AccountingFirms.org released a list of the “50 Best Accounting Schools in the USA,” and Ole Miss was ranked No. 8 nationally and No. 1 in the SEC. During the 2020-21 school year, the school granted a record 588 degrees – with 253 being master’s degrees.

“The best analogy I can give for the new accountancy building is a sports analogy: continuous improvements must be made to athletics facilities to attract and recruit outstanding athletes,” Clark said.

“The same is true for academics. The Patterson School of Accountancy is one of the elite accounting programs in the country, but to maintain excellence in student and faculty recruitment we must continue to improve our facilities.”

The school’s new building will be world-class and will ensure that Ole Miss has the finest accounting academic facility in the U.S. for years to come.

“Ginger and I want to be a part of this, even if in just a small way, and I am confident that many of our alumni will also want to be a part of this,” Clark said.

The new four-story, 100,000-square-foot building is to be constructed at the corner of Grove Loop and University Avenue in the heart of campus, overlooking The Grove.

“The new home for the Patterson School will be one of the finest buildings on our campus,” said Jason McCormick, director of development. “It’s a big undertaking, and we could not do it without support from our alumni like Charles and Ginger.”

In 2002, the Clarks established the Charles C. and Ginger Clark Accountancy Scholarship Endowment, which has grown to more than $200,000 and supported numerous Ole Miss students pursuing degrees in the school. The couple also established the Ginger Guice Clark Council Scholarship in Memory of Frances Rivers Clark and Jo Hornsby Guice Endowment with a testamentary gift of $125,000 in support of the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy.

“I love Ole Miss and her people,” said Clark, who serves as a board member of AQ2 Technologies and MCM Technologies. “One of the great rewards of our accountancy scholarship endowment came when the scholarship was awarded to the granddaughter of my former mentor, professor Peery, who did so much for me.

“The faculty at the Patterson School are genuinely interested in their students; the university administration fully supports the school; and our alumni, Professional Advisory Council and the firms who hire our graduates have been an integral part of the success.

“Being a small part of this success story is very gratifying to me.”

The Charles C. and Ginger Clark Accountancy Scholarship Endowment is open to gifts from individuals and organizations. Checks, with the endowment noted in the memo line, may be mailed to the University of Mississippi Foundation, 406 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655. Gifts also can be made online by visiting https://give.olemiss.edu.

By Mary Stanton Knight

Advice from a professor began a lifelong connection for University of Mississippi alumnus Charles Clark (right) with the Patterson School of Accountancy. Clark and his wife, Ginger, are continuing their lifelong support of the university with a $150,000 gift to the accountancy school’s building fund. Photo by Kirsten Simpson/UM Development
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About the Author

The University of Mississippi, affectionately known as Ole Miss, is Mississippi’s flagship university. A member of the elite group of R1: Doctoral Universities - Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification, Ole Miss has a long history of producing leaders in public service, business, academics and the professions. Its 16 academic divisions include a major medical school; nationally recognized schools of accountancy, law and pharmacy; and an Honors College acclaimed for a blend of academic rigor, experiential learning and opportunities for community action. Acclaimed as one of the nation’s most beautiful, Ole Miss's main campus is in Oxford, which is routinely recognized as one of the nation's best college towns.



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