When Georgia State University was founded in 1913 as the Georgia Institute of Technology's Evening School of Commerce, the small college specialized solely on business administration with accounting as a core concentration.
Starting in 1947, the Evening School of Commerce was associated with the University of Georgia; the departments began to grow, and more colleges were added. When the college became its own academic entity in 1955, Dr. Catherine Ellis Miles took the role of accounting department chair.
In 1953, Dr. Miles was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Alabama. While serving as chairman, she also attended Emory University and received her J.D. in 1963. She served as accounting department chair at Georgia State University from 1955 to 1976. Dr. Miles was one of the founders of the GSU chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the accountancy honor society. During her tenure, she worked for the Georgia State College of Business Administration (1955), Georgia State College (1961), and finally Georgia State University (1969).
Although more than 40 years have passed since she left the School of Accountancy, her legacy lives on through portraits at the Culverhouse College of Commerce at her alma mater and here at the Robinson College of Business, as well as through the Catherine E. Miles Doctoral Fellowship.
Despite the fact she was one of the first women in her field as an accounting Ph.D., she is far from the last. Today, we are pleased to see many great men and women succeed in this diverse and ever-growing field.
Past Chairs and Directors
Thanks to our past chairs and directors, without whom the School of Accountancy would not have thrived:
- John Cook from 1976 to 1977
- Gary Luoma from 1977 to 1986
- L.E. “Gene” Berry from 1986 to 1996
- Fenwick Huss from 1996 to 1998
- Gary Winkle from 1998 to 1999
- Jane Mutchler from 1999 to 2005
- Galen Sevcik from 2005 to 2018
- Douglas Stevens from 2018-2021
- Debra Cannon from 2021-present