EY Doubles up to Sweep the 2019 Accounting Firms' Giving Competition

One of William & Mary’s For the Bold campaign initiatives is to increase alumni participation. The importance of alumni participation is two-fold. First, every gift builds on each other, increasing the impact of a solitary gift. The second comes from the established concept that broad-based support indicates the level of alumni engagement to alma mater, as reflected in specific rankings organizations.

In response to this initiative, the Mason Accounting Programs Board initiated the Accounting Firms’ Giving Competition to increase alumni giving across campus in 2016. The competition involves William & Mary’s alumni working in the Big Four accounting firms and top regional and international firms that recruit from William & Mary. Over the past four years, approximately 50 percent of W&M alumni working in the represented accounting firms have given back to the university annually.

Since its inception, EY has led the Big Four in giving back to William & Mary, supporting all programs across campus. This year – for the first time – they achieved the highest giving percentage for all participating firms with an overall giving of 84 percent, doubling their previous year’s 42 percent! EY also had the highest overall giving rate to the Mason School of Business at 59 percent.

"One of the many, many reasons that I am proud to be an alumnus of William & Mary is the level of engagement of our alumni. The Accounting Firms Giving Competition is a great example of such engagement. With each year, more and more alumni have made the important decision to support the future growth and success of the University. With such ardent and committed support, the future possibilities for William & Mary and the Mason School of Business are limitless." said Walter Brickman, Managing Director of the Business Tax Advisory at EY.

Keiter ranked second overall and first for the regional and international firms with an overall giving percentage of 71 – a 25 point increase from the previous year. Johnson Lambert ranked second overall and first for the regional and international firms with 46 percent giving back to the Mason School of Business. 

Overall, the 47 percent of alumni working at the represented accounting firms gave back to the University with 27 percent giving to the Mason School of Business. The combined efforts of our alumni working in the accounting industry raised almost half a million dollars for student and program support for the University.

“I am delighted to hear that we have so many of our accounting alumni continuing to support the Mason School’s mission. Our students’ experiences and preparation are greatly enhanced by their generosity, and we are enriched by their continued care for our alma mater,” commented Dean Larry Pulley ‘74.

Accounting Firms Giving Competition Results

Accounting Firms Giving Competition
W&M Employees
Mason School Participation
Other W&M Participation
Total Participation


8.9% 22.0% 30.9%




59.0% 24.5% 83.5%




13.0% 18.2% 31.2%


KPMG 154 24.0% 18.8% 42.9% 66
Grant Thornton 50 16.0% 14.0% 30.0% 15
BDO 40 7.5% 2.5% 10.0% 4
RSM US 15 26.7% 6.7% 33.3% 5
Cherry Bekaert* 14 21.4% 7.1% 28.6% 4
Keiter 14 35.7% 35.7% 71.4% 10
Johnson Lambert 13 46.2% 15.4% 61.5% 8
Baker Tilly 5 20.0% 20.0% 40.0% 2
Average Participation 26.6% 20.0% 46.5%

Results include gifts and pledges as of 6/30/2019
*Estimated 2019 W&M Alumni Employees