Wednesday, February 5, 2014 Accounting & Information Systems
Ernst & Young LLP Makes $1.1 Million Gift to Benefit UW-Madison Business Students by Lavilla Capener, Staff

Ernst & Young LLP (EY) has pledged $1.1 million to the Wisconsin School of Business.The majority of the gift ($850,000) will fund the Global Mindset Leaders Program, which is designed to introduce students to cultural and social diversity in business. 

“The Ernst & Young Foundation and my fellow contributing partners from Ernst & Young LLP are honored to make this gift. By creating the Global Mindset Leaders Program and investing in other accounting program and school initiatives, we are working toward our purpose of building a better working world,” said David Gay, a partner in the firm's Milwaukee office. “In partnership with the Wisconsin School of Business, we are confident the program will increase diversity and inclusion within the school and teach the importance of embracing different perspectives in today's global business environment.”     

The remainder of the gift ($250,000) will go toward other programs within the accounting department. Karla Johnstone, the EY Professor of Accounting, is leading the global mindset effort at the school, along with Accounting Department Chair Terry Warfield and Professor Ella Mae Matsumura.

Ernst & Young Wisconsin School of Business $1.1 million gift

The global mindset initiative has two primary components. The first is academic and extra-curricular activities for undergraduate business students that demonstrate the value of diversity in the classroom, workplace, and business environment. The second is the creation of the Global Mindset Scholars program, which provides scholarships and supports outreach efforts to under-represented minority students. 

“Business professionals who have a global mindset are more aware of cultural differences and open to diverse perspectives–both within and outside their home countries,” Johnstone said. “They do not merely tolerate diversity; they embrace it and ask how the company might learn and benefit from views that differ from mainstream thinking. This gift will enable us to better prepare our students for the challenges and opportunities of our globalized business world.”

The gift makes EY the first corporate partner for the Wisconsin School of Business Innovation Fund, which focuses on projects that impact large numbers of students, provide transformational experiences, and incorporate faculty research, among other criteria. 

“We are delighted to share with EY a commitment to outstanding learning experiences for our students,” said Wisconsin School of Business Dean François Ortalo-Magné. “We are most grateful to EY for joining our efforts to reinvent business education by moving from delivering teaching to inspiring learning.”