E. Ben Yager received a BBA from the University of Texas at Austin in 1947 and received the first ever MPA degree in 1949. Seventy-one years later, his granddaughter, Katherine Glass, is following in his footsteps and graduated with her MPA this spring. Though Ben passed away twelve years ago, as Katie tells us, his legacy lives on through his family and accounting career.
A young Katherine Glass and her grandfather, Ben Yager, smile for a photo.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF, KATIE.
I grew up in Florida and completed my undergraduate studies at Elon University. In addition to my grandfather and me, my father, sister, uncle, two aunts, and two cousins have majored in accounting!
WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN ACCOUNTING?
Initially, I was attracted to accounting because it offered solid career opportunities. Through my accounting coursework, I have been pleasantly surprised to find that it is also dynamic and growth-oriented.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO ATTEND THE TEXAS McCOMBS MPA PROGRAM?
Because of its prestige, wealth of resources, and the exceptional community of diverse, impressive faculty and peers. I knew this program would offer a broad array of opportunities for academic and professional growth. Plus, my grandfather went to school here, so McCombs runs in the family.
WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER MOST ABOUT YOUR GRANDFATHER?
I remember that grandfather was a loyal fan of both Longhorn and Cincinnati Reds’ baseball, and he always welcomed my visits to Texas with Fig Newtons — a tradition begun by his father.
WHAT LEGACIES DID YOUR GRANDFATHER LEAVE BEHIND?
In his 35 years as a professor and later as a department chair, my grandfather worked to enhance the accounting profession by educating several generations of accounting professionals, actively contributing to numerous professional organizations, and building long-term professional relationships with leaders in accounting and finance. Upon his retirement in 1989, an endowment was created in his name that provides scholarships for accountancy students at Miami University.
WHAT ARE YOUR POST-GRADUATION PLANS?
This fall, I am excited to be joining PwC’s Assurance practice in Tampa, Florida!
ABOUT DR. E. BEN YAGER
After graduating from UT Austin, Ben worked as the Chief Accountant of Sul Ross State College in Alpine, Texas. He then entered Indiana University’s PhD program and received a Doctorate of Business Administration. At Indiana, he met his wife, Jeanne, and they were married on June 13, 1953. In 1955, Ben began his teaching career at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He was named the C. Rollin Niswonger Professor of Accountancy and was Department Chairman for over five years before returning to his beloved job as a professor. He co-authored three editions of the CPA Examination: A Comprehensive Review. Ben was a CPA in Texas and Ohio and was a member of the American Institute of CPAs, Ohio Society of CPAs, American Accounting Association, Financial Executives Institute, and Alpha Kappa Psi business society. The E. Ben Yager Scholarship is awarded to one undergraduate student at Miami University annually.