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K-State Today

May 8, 2018

Accounting department awards more than $260,000 in scholarships, inducts two into K-State Accounting Hall of Fame

By Brent Fritzemeier

Johanna Lyle, Michael Upchurch and Brett Wilkinson.

The Kansas State University accounting department  recently awarded more than $260,000 worth of scholarships for the 2018-19 school year at its annual Scholarships and Awards Gala.

In all, 210 scholarships were awarded to undergraduate and graduate students at the event. The department recognized undergraduate scholarships worth more than $146,000, and graduate scholarships for students in the Master of Accountancy program exceeding $90,000. An additional $28,000 was awarded in scholarships for international study.

"We couldn't be happier that we were able to reward so many of our deserving students with these scholarships," said Brett Wilkinson, head of the department of accounting. "We can't thank our donors and corporate partners enough for making these scholarships possible, and investing in the future of these bright students."

In addition to the announcement of the scholarship awards, the department also inducted two new distinguished alumni into the K-State Accounting Hall of Fame: Johanna Lyle, retired faculty member, and Michael Upchurch, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Kansas City Southern.

The Hall of Fame annually recognizes outstanding accounting alumni for their impacts in the world of business, government or academia.

"It is truly an honor to recognize Jo Lyle and Mike Upchurch for their amazing accomplishments," Wilkinson said. "Their positive impact on K-State accounting is unmistakable."

Lyle earned her Master of Accountancy at Kansas State University and went on to serve as a faculty member for more than 30 years, earning numerous teaching and service related accolades, including, among others, the BKD Teaching Excellence award, the Kansas State Bank Outstanding Advising award and the KSCPA Life Achievement Award. Lyle showed a remarkable dedication to her students, and Wilkinson pointed out that she has impacted literally thousands of K-State students during her career. Lyle also has contributed extensively to the accounting profession, serving in multiple ways with the Kansas Society of CPAs, including as a member of the board of directors and Leadership Cabinet, and as trustee and chair of the KSCPA Educational Foundation.

Upchurch graduated from K-State with a Bachelor of Science in accounting. Before becoming executive vice president and CFO of Kansas City Southern, he was senior vice president for financial management and purchasing. He joined Kansas City Southern after a 16-year career at Sprint Nextel, where he had a variety of positions, including senior vice president for financial operations. In June 2011, he was recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal as CFO of the Year. Recently, he was recognized as a Top CFO in the Transportation Sector by Institutional Investor magazine. Upchurch serves on the College of Business Administration dean's advisory board and has served previously on the K-State Accounting Advisory Council.

"Mike's commitment to supporting our student programs, and especially our international study programs, has had a significant and meaningful impact, which we appreciate very much," Wilkinson said.

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