BBA 1974 (Accounting)
After graduation, Ken Evans' relationship with his alma mater didn't end.
Evans, who received a BBA degree in accounting in 1974, first worked for Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) in Minneapolis. When his company started a recruitment initiative, Evans signed on as the University of Iowa representative.
For Evans, it was his initial way of staying connected to the Tippie College of Business. Instead of only recruiting new employees for the company, though, he chose to connect with the College in a more expansive way.
"I spent time with faculty, getting to know them, learning about the business of education, studying what they were researching, and attending lecture series," he says. "I spoke with students, learning what their career aspirations were, and, of course, encouraged students to consider Coopers & Lybrand after graduation," he says.
As his involvement with the College grew, he eventually became a member of the Department of Accounting's Professional Advisory Council (PAC), on which he served from 1986 to 1989. PAC members typically are graduates of Iowa's accounting program who serve as a sounding board for curriculum improvements, and they help ensure that graduates are equipped with the skills and knowledge that employers require.
"This was another way I stayed connected to the life of the College," says Evans, who today is a senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he is responsible for all services provided to its U.S. clients in the transportation and logistics industries. "There are many ways alumni can actively support the University," he says. "Obviously, some choose to give monetarily, but early in my career, I was more able to give of my time."
It was during his time on the PAC that Evans learned about the College's need for unrestricted financial support, and he began contributing annually.
"The College can use unrestricted gifts at its discretion," he says. "Because I had developed a tight relationship with the accounting faculty and other members of the College, I trusted their integrity and judgment to use my financial gifts in a way most beneficial to the College. Giving back is habit-forming. When I think of my success today, it makes me want to give back so that others can have access to similar opportunities."
His advice for fellow College of Business alumni?
"Start giving—whether that's through service to the institution or financially—and keep contributing," he says. "There's a good feeling you get from being a contributor to a worthwhile cause—and certainly, the institution that gave you an education and served as a four-year springboard to a career should be at the top of any Tippie alum's list."