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Published on November 7th, 2022 | by University of Mississippi

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Donor Credits University of Mississippi Accountancy School for Success

Macione building fund gift demonstrates school’s far-reaching impact

Joe Macione and his family have prospered because his accounting degree from the University of Mississippi gave him the tools necessary to have a successful career. So the Bristol, Tennessee, resident recently decided it was time to help others have the same opportunity for prosperity.

“My wife, Annette, always reminds me that you share your worldly possessions with those who feed you,” Macione said, adding that accounting also had great benefit for two subsequent generations of his family. “I consider my accounting degree something that fed me well through the years.”

His daughter, Kimberly Butler, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Patterson School of Accountancy in 1983 and 1984, respectively. Kyle Macione graduated with a bachelor’s in accountancy in 1986. Likewise, Joe’s granddaughter and Kyle’s daughter, Alexandra Macione, earned a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from UM in May and will start graduate school this fall.

Joe Macione’s appreciation for his foundation in the profession led him to make a $100,000 gift to the Patterson School of Accountancy Building Fund.

“We are grateful for his generous support of our building project,” said Mark Wilder, UM accountancy dean. “Our new building will be located on prime university real estate and will help us tremendously in recruiting top talent to the Patterson School.

“It is wonderful to have three generations of the Macione family supporting the Patterson School of Accountancy. The new building will elevate our already renowned accounting program to greater heights.”

The school offers a bachelor’s degree, four master’s degrees and a doctorate in accountancy. It is the top accounting school in the SEC and has ranked among the top 10 programs nationally for a decade. Big4AccountingFirms.org recently ranked the Ole Miss program No. 8 in the nation.

“Our reputation for producing great students means employers nationwide seek out our students for internships and our graduates for full-time jobs,” Wilder said. “We currently teach accountancy classes all over campus and look forward to the sense of community we will have with the new building and all our classes under one roof once again.”

In 2021, UM granted a record number of accounting degrees – 588, with 253 of those being master’s degrees. Over the three-year period from 2020 to 2021, eight Ole Miss students earned the Elijah Watts Sells Award, the most prestigious CPA-exam award worldwide. This ranks the school No. 1 in the SEC and tied for No. 4 nationally in numbers of Sells awardees over the past three years.

The building fund will provide for a new four-story building that will offer study spaces, faculty offices and outdoor space plus new tiered auditoriums and advanced classrooms for the in-demand program. The 110,000-square-foot building will overlook The Grove from the corner of University Avenue and Grove Loop.

“The Macione family is an example of how an Ole Miss accountancy education can change the trajectory of a family for generations,” said Jason McCormick, the school’s director of development.

“Joe understands that power and wants to share it with future students and generations to come. He is leaving a legacy – not just for his family – that will allow many others to prosper.”

Macione grew up in the Mississippi Delta town of Arcola, with just 100 students in all 12 grades. He was the only member of his graduating class to attend college. He got his first taste of higher education and accounting watching his father, who did not have a college degree, make a career switch by taking correspondence courses in bookkeeping.

After high school, he enrolled at Ole Miss, unsure of what his major would be. He liked working with numbers and was good at it, so he became a business major with a focus on accounting.

After earning his degree, Macione moved to Jackson to be close to Annette, his soon-to-be-bride. He began working at a small firm with one key client. That client left, and Macione was without a job, so he walked a few blocks to the largest firm in town and asked for a job. He was hired on the spot.

Three years later, he launched his own firm in Leland. Twice, his firm merged with others and ultimately moved to Greenville, where it continues to operate. His partners, Ben B. Sayle and Virgil “Brother” Sandifer were key to the firm’s survival and growth.

Over the years, Macione took on roles in the firm and with clients as needed. He went on to helm several TV stations, including WCYB in Bristol. The station became known as the best-performing station in mid-sized markets, even being recognized by the Tennessee Legislature.

When it came time to make the gift to the building fund, Macione knew it had to be a family gift. He also wanted the partners who helped him build his firm – Sayle and Sandifer – to support the campaign and the school’s vision.

Both obliged with an additional $50,000.

“I was thrilled they were willing to support this project in such a meaningful way,” Macione said.

The Maciones also love Ole Miss athletics. Joe, with Kyle, Kimberly, and her husband, Dr. John Butler, were among many who witnessed the Rebels win the 2022 College World Series Championship.

The support from the Maciones, Sayles, and Sandifers will go toward Now & Ever: The Campaign for Ole Miss, a fundraising initiative to secure $1.5 billion in private gifts to strengthen the university for generations to come.

By Dana Engelbert

Joe Macione (left), Kimberly Macione Butler and her husband, John, and Kyle Macione cheer the Rebels to a national championship at the 2022 College World Series. Joe Macione has made a $100,000 gift to the UM Patterson School of Accountancy Building Fund. Submitted photo
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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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