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CPA Exam Pass Rate Inspires Gift From Concord University Alum
ATHENS, W.Va. - The high pass rate of Concord University graduates on the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam has prompted an alum to make a donation to the university’s Division of Business.
Larry Ickes, a 1983 business graduate of Concord and resident of Lewisburg, provided funding to purchase a Polycom SoundStation 2. The device will help facilitate audio conferencing and will be used by students, faculty and staff.
“I recall that during the time I passed the CPA exam in 1985, that Concord grads had the highest pass rate in the state on the uniform CPA exam, and this was for several five year periods after that,” he said. “When I saw that we achieved that mark again, I was so impressed, that I wanted to reward the school in some way.”
According to Dr. Susan Robinett, associate professor and chair of Concord’s Division of Business, the gift was inspired by results from the 2008 CPA exam.
“For the CPA 2008 results, more than half of all CPA exam candidates with a Concord undergraduate degree who attempted the CPA exam passed the parts they attempted, whereas, rates ranged from five percent to 45 percent from other schools in the state,” she said. “On average we have always enjoyed a positive passing rate.”
Robinett said the new Polycom will be a valuable educational tool for business students.
“Students will have opportunities to participate in audio conferences related to their academics,” she said. “Integration of technology is essential in today’s workforce, and through this gift, we have the opportunity to expose students to yet another way of participating in the business environment.
“We are very fortunate to have such dedicated and generous alumni supporting the Division of Business, and faculty’s continuous efforts to improve our students’ quality of education,” she said.
Ickes received a bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in accounting from Concord. He said that his Concord diploma carries weight in West Virginia. “With a degree in accounting from Concord, all over the state it was recognized as a great school for accounting and that was my ticket in,” he said.
Ickes now owns his own CPA accounting firm and several real estate investment companies. He serves his alma mater as a member of the Business Advisory Council. This group works as a source of external feedback, advice and ideas to help achieve the mission and goals of Concord University’s Division of Business.
He and his wife, Katie Crickenberger Ickes, have been married for 25 years and have five children. She is also a 1983 graduate of Concord and is executive director of the Greater Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce.