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Why Wofford

Why Wofford?

Prof. Lillian Gonzalez '91 talks accounting, business and finance and their place in the liberal arts

As a private, residential liberal arts college, Wofford College is unique in that it offers programs in accounting, business and finance. Students considering studies in these fields may wonder, “Why would I attend a liberal arts institution to study accounting, business or finance? Why Wofford?”

While the list of benefits is long, I offer three here:

At Wofford we recognize that students are multitalented.

We encourage them to look beyond traditional paths and approaches to combine areas of personal and professional interest in the development of their own goals, whatever they may be. While the college offers the business courses and technical skills that students need to prepare for jobs in the field, our accounting and finance majors also pursue studies in areas such as philosophy, art, economics, law, biology, environmental studies, languages and cultures. The accounting, business and finance faculty encourages students to incorporate study-abroad and internship experiences into their education, and we celebrate the creativity and spirit of exploration that students employ as they bring together different areas of study.

Our students consistently excel in graduate school and the workplace after leaving Wofford. They have the ability to think on their feet, solve problems and communicate effectively. For example, in February five of our students competed against MBA students in the CFA Institute Research Challenge Southern Classic, an investment analysis competition. The competition required a written report, two oral presentations and two Q&A sessions with panels of five Chartered Financial Analysts. Our students were ready to deliver and finished in first place.

At Wofford we teach that compassion makes sense, even in business.

Wofford students live and work with admirable people (students, faculty and staff), and we all learn from each other. You do not have to look far to find individuals interested in becoming a part of a student’s support system, helping them feel connected to their communities (both on and off campus) and helping them know that they can make a difference in the world.

On our campus we promote an ethic of compassion and try to improve the quality of life of the communities we serve every day:

  • Our students learn to support and communicate with others—through teamwork, volunteer work, tutoring and mentoring.
  • Our students learn to empathize with diverse cultures. Each year a group of our students works with the United Way’s VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program to prepare individual income tax returns for families in our community. The service is free of charge, and our students receive hugs and gratitude in return.
  • Our students learn to do well and to do good. A team of Wofford students works diligently to manage the Michael R. James Investment Fund so that they can use a portion of their investment income to make loans to small business owners in Haiti. These loans change the lives and futures of entire families. 

At Wofford students are supported by a committed faculty, staff and alumni network.

In addition to the commitment Wofford faculty and staff have to work with students one on one, alumni play a critical role in helping our students explore areas of interest and gain access to a wide range of resources. Students regularly receive generous offers of support from our network of alumni that include internship opportunities, availability for resume review and professional guidance.

So, why Wofford? Success rarely ever happens by accident. Sometimes you will fail, and when you do, you have to try again. Our students leave Wofford well prepared to handle what lies ahead, knowing that to achieve success you have to be open to new ways of thinking and adapting; you have to show compassion for those whose paths you will cross; and you have to have the wisdom to accept the support and guidance of those willing to give them.

by Lillian Gonzalez ’91, chair and associate professor of accounting, business and finance