Wright Professorship at NSU

NSU-Tommy and Connie Wright

A Northwestern State University alumnus who has had a long and successful accounting career created an endowed professorship in the School of Business at NSU. The Thomas M. Wright Professorship in Accounting was created with a donation to the NSU Foundation with matching dollars from the Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund to complete a $100,000 endowment.

Tommy Wright is a native of Many and a 1973 graduate of NSU, where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order, serving as pledge class president, active chapter treasurer and active chapter president. He discovered an aptitude for accounting during his senior year of high school when his mother recommended he take an accounting course.

“Accounting is the language of business, the ability to read and understand a financial statement, and with a degree a graduate can work in the accounting field in either private industry or in public accounting or they can do any number of things in business in which the accounting background will prove highly beneficial,” Wright said.  “It is a great undergraduate degree to purse even if you never practice as an accountant in the business world.  Understanding accounting would be helpful if you pursue a career in a technology field, too.”

Wright is a partner in the Houston office of RSM US, LLP, a leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market.  RSM has 9,000 professionals and associates in 90 cities nationwide and access to more than 41,000 people in 120 countries through its membership in RSM International.  Wright is a member of National Tax Leadership Committee for RSM’s Private Client Services (PCS) group, leads the PCS Practice for the U.S. Central Region and leads the RSM U.S. Family Office practice.

Wright’s primary expertise is in tax matters related to tax planning for family wealth preservation, wealth transfers, charitable transfers, closely held business enterprises and tax compliance for multigenerational families. He works extensively with high-net-worth individuals and families, service organizations and closely held businesses.  He has spoken at numerous conferences, seminars and professional training meetings on subjects relating to taxation and tax legislation.  Wright currently serves on the boards of the NSU Foundation, Memorial Endowment Fund at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church and Episcopal High School Endowment Fund.

Wright was a recent speaker at NSU’s 51st annual J. Walter Porter Forum, annually sponsored by the School of Business, which brings business professionals to campus to connect with students.

During his student days at NSU, Wright said he enjoyed the fact that upper level accounting courses were small classes in which students got to know their professors and other students well.

“I felt that I was very accountable to the accounting professionals based on the closeness of the group.  Generally, I would say that was a characteristic of most all of my classes at NSU, smaller than at large universities, and something we should market as an advantage of NSU,” he said.

Wright recalled Ron Stuart, a part-time professor at NSU who taught two elementary accounting classes and two intermediate courses, as a positive mentor, bridging the academic world and the business world. As an upperclassman, Wright worked for CPA Eddie Johnson and expressed gratitude for his guidance and counsel.

Wright’s sister, Connie Wright Ammons of Many, also graduated from NSU with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education.   Write and his wife Connie Kerans Wright have two daughters, Ellie Wright Graham and Catherine L. Wright.

“Our endowed professorships and chairs are awarded to faculty in specific disciplines to provide funding for scholarship, research, collaboration, creative endeavors and professional development,” said NSU Development Officer Jill Bankston, CFRE.  “Funding for professorships plays a role in the university’s ability to attract and retain faculty. Mr. Wright understands the strategic importance of such gifts and we thank him for his support of Northwestern State’s accounting program.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to NSU.  I have been blessed in so many ways, from my parents and my family, my spouse, my children, my career and my business partners and mentors.  I feel very fortunate,” Wright said.

For information on the NSU Foundation or initiating a professorship, visit northwesternstatealumni.com or contact Bankston at bankstonj@nsula.edu.

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