Ken Hughes of the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees (center) joins retiring
accountancy professors Susan Swanger (left) and Leroy Kauffman at a recent event affixing
the FORVIS name to WCU’s accountancy programs.
Although the end of the 2022 fall semester brings to a close the careers of two popular
Western Carolina University accountancy professors, it does not mean the end of their
support for students in the College of Business.
That’s because N. Leroy Kauffman, a faculty member since 1994, and Susan L. Swanger,
a faculty member since 1997, have established separate scholarship funds to provide
financial assistance to deserving accountancy students.
Swanger, who has served as director of WCU’s FORVIS Master’s Degree Program in Accountancy,
has established the Susan Swanger, CPA, Ph.D., Professional Accountancy Endowed Scholarship
Fund. The scholarship is designed to provide assistance to graduate students pursuing
a career change to professional accountancy after completing an undergraduate degree
in a field other than accounting.
Kauffman, a former dean of the College of Business, recently created the Dr. N. Leroy
and Judy Kauffman Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will provide financial support to
undergraduate students studying accountancy.
Students past and present, faculty and staff colleagues, and friends and family of
Kauffman and Swanger are encouraged to make a contribution to the scholarship fund
of their choice to honor the careers of these two long-time educators, said A.J. Grube,
dean of the College of Business.
“The College of Business has been fortunate to have had such consistent, steady hands
guiding its accountancy programs. They will truly be missed,” Grube said. “Dr. Kauffman
has earned his reputation as a passionate advocate for students and an excellent teacher.
When I meet with alumni, they often ask about Dr. Kauffman and they are eager to share
memories of their time with him. This is the greatest testament to his legacy.”
From directing the master’s program to organizing an annual banquet for students,
alumni and industry representatives, Swanger has left a lasting mark on the college,
Grube said. “One of Dr. Swanger’s greatest strengths has been creating connections
between students and industry. The time and energy she gave to preparing students
to begin professional lives is unparalleled. She has built relationships among professionals
in the accounting industry that have evolved into friendships,” she said.
Originally launched in 2014, Swanger Scholarships have provided assistance to a total
of 16 students to date. Additional contributions to the fund will increase the number
of scholarships that can be awarded in the future, Grube said.
The Kauffman Scholarship is newly established, and the Kauffmans are offering to match
contributions to the fund on a dollar-for-dollar basis, up to $13,000.
A licensed certified public accountant, Swanger is a member of the American Accounting
Association, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, North Carolina Association
of Certified Public Accountants and Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Swanger earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Kent State University in 1977,
her master’s degree in business administration from WCU in 1993 and her doctorate
in accounting from the University of South Carolina in 1998. She resides in the Fines
Creek community of Haywood County with her husband, Mark Swanger, a retired FBI agent
and former chair of the Haywood County Board of Commissioners.
Kauffman has spent more than 45 years in higher education, beginning at Eastern Mennonite
College in 1978 after earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration there
in 1977. He went on to earn his master’s degree in business administration from the
University of Montana in 1978, and his doctorate in accounting in 1988 from The Ohio
State University, where he taught as a doctoral student.
He also taught at Virginia Tech before arriving at WCU, where, in addition to dean,
he has served as associate dean and department head and on the Faculty Senate, including
a term as chair. A certified public accountant in North Carolina and Ohio for more
than 25 years, he resides in Clyde with his wife, Judith Kauffman.
To make a contribution to the Susan Swanger, CPA, Ph.D., Professional Accountancy
Endowed Scholarship Fund, visit http://give.wcu.edu/swanger.
To make a contribution to the Dr. Leroy and Judy Kauffman Endowed Scholarship Fund,