Gift to focus on faculty fellowships, student scholarships, curriculum innovation
The Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary today announces a gift from Frank J. Wood, a 1974 alumnus. The $3 million gift will permanently endow The Frank J. Wood ’74 Excellence in Accounting Endowment at the Mason School.
Wood is chief financial officer and executive vice president of Alpha Natural Resources Inc., in Abingdon, Va., the third largest coal producer in the United States. Prior to his appointment to Alpha Natural Resources, he served as senior vice president and chief financial officer of Foundation Coal Corporation. In addition, he serves on various committees of the National Mining Association and was a past member of the Surety Bond Working Group. He currently serves on the Accounting Programs Board at the Mason School. His generosity to William & Mary spans over 36 years including gifts to name the Accounting Program office in Alan B. Miller Hall, and support of the Sadler Student Affairs Fund and William & Mary Athletics through the Tribe Club. Wood was a resident of Virginia Beach at the time he attended the College.
“William & Mary is deeply grateful for Frank’s wonderful support over many years,” said President Reveley. “His most recent and extraordinarily generous gift to our Accounting Program will take an already excellent program and truly kick it into high gear.”
Referring to a “special connection he has with William & Mary,” Wood said he made the gift because he was in a position to make a difference and wanted his gift to have an impact at a “school that was on a good course.”
“This gift is a game-changer for our Accounting Program,” said Mason School Dean Lawrence B. Pulley. “This gift will boost the morale of our faculty, help to entice the best students to attend, and enhance our curriculum in ways that are virtually limitless.”
Since the Accounting Program’s inception in the late 1940s, its quality has been affirmed by numerous accolades and by the success of its students. Most recently, for the second consecutive year, the Mason School’s accounting undergraduate and graduate programs have been ranked No. 1 in their cohorts by the Public Accounting Report’s 29th Annual Survey of Accounting Professors. The graduate program was also ranked 22nd overall, up three spots from the year before. The Wood Endowment includes:
- The Frank J. Wood ’74 Faculty Fellowships will recognize and reward tenure-track faculty with summer faculty fellowship research awards. Peer institutions offer similar rewards for faculty research, and the Mason School’s ability to offer similar opportunities will enhance the accounting faculty’s development — and by implication their effectiveness in the classroom — giving them incentive to remain and grow at William & Mary instead of leaving to advance their careers at other institutions.
- The Frank J. Wood ’74 Master’s in Accounting Scholarships will attract outstanding students. Top accounting programs have positioned themselves wisely, offering incentives to the best students who enroll in their programs. This gift will enable the Accounting Program to do the same, which is essential for the Mason School to compete.
- Program Curriculum Differentiators will offer curriculum enhancements and explore new possibilities that bring innovation to the Accounting Program. One example is the Global Mindset Experience. This proposed elective course, with limited enrollment, will offer students interactions with international universities and companies, will allow the Mason School to invite speakers from around the globe, and will give our students the chance to visit different locations and meet with companies in foreign locales.
“Six years ago, I joined the Accounting Programs Board through Dean Pulley and I had an opportunity to learn more about what the school’s needs are. As a result of my success in business, I found myself in the position to make a difference and so I did it. Accounting was instrumental to my career and I want to give this opportunity to the next generation,” said Wood.
“Frank has made a large, positive difference in the world of business and now he is having a huge impact on us. We are honored by his generosity and commitment and deeply appreciate his partnership as a member of our Accounting Programs Board,” said Pulley.
In recalling his undergraduate experience at the College, Wood highlighted the School of Business’s great reputation in the tax challenge competitions and the wonderful opportunities that the CPATrek afforded the Master of Accounting students. He said his intention is to enable these kinds of unique experiences in other areas in the accounting program.
“I know my gift will have an impact and know that it will be managed well,” Wood said.
In addition to his undergraduate degree in accounting from the College, Wood earned a master’s of business administration from Indiana University. He holds a professional accounting certification from the state of Virginia Board of Accountancy.