The former students of a staple in the West Virginia University Department of Accounting are giving back to the College and University to honor his work and to look to the future of the industry. The gift is given in honor of Robert S. Maust, who retired in 2013 after more than 50 years at the College of Business and Economics and made a tremendous impact on the lives of countless accounting students.
Among those former students is John Wilson, a 1989 Master of Accountancy graduate, partner at Schmidt & Wilson LLC in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, and owner of Cox Well Service, LLC, in Spencer, West Virginia, worked directly with Maust as a graduate assistant during his time at WVU, and said Maust helped shape his career. Recently, Wilson made a generous gift to establish an endowed scholarship fund, the Professor Robert Maust Scholarship. Recipients of the Professor Robert Maust Scholarship must be undergraduate students enrolled full-time at B&E and majoring in accounting.
“Professor Maust was a quiet, philosophical lecturer, and he showed a genuine interest in his students. Five to 10 years down the road, people might not know who he is, but with this scholarship, accounting students will have the chance to know the impact he made at the College of Business and Economics,” Wilson said. “Business and accounting – it’s who I am. I recognize what my college degree has helped me to attain in life, and I want other students to have that same opportunity.”
To also honor Maust and recognize his legacy, David Hill, a 1980 accounting graduate and Partner and Chief Operating Officer at Arnett Carbis Toothman, LLP, in Charleston, and Reed Tanner, a 1977 accounting graduate and partner at Suttle & Stalnaker, PLLC, in Morgantown, gave generous gifts to initiate the Robert Maust Student Experience Fund. The fund provides financial assistance for students in the accounting program to attend conferences and/or events, participate in case competitions and partake in other student experiential learning activities.
“Robert Maust is a legend within the CPA Society, and we wanted to find a way to create a legacy to honor Bob and provide a vehicle to fund opportunities for the students at WVU where he faithfully served for over 50 years,” said David Hill.
The Professor Robert Maust Scholarship and the Robert Maust Student Experience Fund are already helping students become future business leaders. The scholarship was awarded for the first time in Fall 2017, and the experience fund has already helped students travel to and participate in the 2018 West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants Annual Meeting at The Greenbrier.
“It is easy to see that the impact of Professor Maust’s teaching is widespread. He left a mark on B&E and the University,” said B&E Milan Puskar Dean Javier Reyes. “We are grateful for the profound impact he made on the lives of accounting students, and we are thankful that students have become successful, generous alumni who continue to pay it forward to B&E and the next generation of business leaders.”
These gifts were made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia's University, which ended Dec. 31, 2017, With more than $1.2 billion being donated to the University.