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K-State Today

September 29, 2011

K-State alumni, Ernst & Young demonstrate the might of a matching gift

By Andrew Zender

With a matching gift from Ernst & Young, Jackson Day '86 and his wife Christian Martinez '87 established the Jackson Day Family Scholarship in the College of Business Administration.

Jackson Day attended K-State on a golf scholarship and graduated from the College of Business Administration in 1986 with a degree in accounting. While at K-State, he met his wife, Christian Martinez, who graduated from the same program a year later. They've remained active as alumni and made contributions to the university over the years — but have always wanted to take their giving to new heights, to a level where it could have a permanent impact on students.

With a gift of $17,500 and a matching gift from Ernst & Young — for a total gift of $35,000 — the Days have established the Jackson Day Family Scholarship to provide financial aid to students in the department of accounting in the College of Business Administration at K-State. Recently, the Day shared how the couple's experience at K-State inspired them to give back — and the benefits of employer matching gifts.

What was your motivation for creating this scholarship?
I had the opportunity to attend K-State on a golf scholarship and have always wanted to give back to the program. K-State's been very good to us and provided a strong foundation for our careers.

How has K-State influenced your life? Why is it important to you?
I received an excellent education at K-State, one that provided me with the skills and background necessary to make my entry into the public accounting world. Using those skills, I've continued to build my knowledge of public accounting into an excellent career that has allowed me to provide for our family.

There are many ways to support higher education — and scholarships are one of the highest priorities for K-State. What do you hope to accomplish with your scholarship?
We chose to make our gift with both expendable and endowed portions so that we could see its immediate and perpetual impact. We're pleased that we were also able to draw upon matching funds to increase the amount of the scholarship. I hope that this scholarship will open doors — that it will provide a student who doesn't have the opportunity to attend college with the ability to get an education and realize their potential.

How you can help

The Days' scholarship was made possible through a cash pledge and a matching gift from Ernst & Young. Corporations and businesses encourage philanthropic behavior and enhance the impact of employee generosity with matching gift programs. Depending on your individual company's policy, your gift to K-State could be increased from one to three times for each dollar you contribute.

About the donors
Jackson is a partner at Ernst & Young in the New York, N.Y., national office. His previous appointments include former acting chief and deputy chief accountant of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, former practice fellow of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, and the former chair of the International Organization of Securities Commissions Standing Committee 1 on accounting, auditing and disclosure. Beginning in fall 2011, he will be serving on the K-State College of Business Administration's accounting advisory council. Christian Day is a former corporate/international accountant for Cushman and Wakefield, PepsiCo International, Rent-a-Center and Emerson Motor Company. In addition to her degree from K-State, she also has a bachelor's degree in international business and a master of business administration from Wichita State University. They have four children between the ages of 6 and 13.