Louise Avent, the first female accountancy graduate of theUniversity of Mississippi(Class of 1947), who also became the first female inducted into the Hall of Fame at the university’sPatterson School of Accountancy, will be commemorated with a scholarship bearing her name. Her sons, Tom and Murray Avent, have committed $250,000 to establish an endowment, which will fund four annual accountancy scholarships at the University, according to HottyToddy.com.

“My mother was born ahead of her time and might have had a very different career if she had been born today,” stated Tom Avent, Southeast partner of mergers and acquisitions-tax at KPMG LLP and a fellow Ole Miss alumnus. “She ran the family business and took care of her three boys – my father, my brother and myself – but she was also a brilliant student. I remember asking her once why she didn’t go to work for one of the Big Eight accounting firms after college. To my surprise, she explained that the Big Eight firms at that time didn’t hire women, so she started her professional career keeping books for a large steamship company in New Orleans and served as a Spanish interpreter."

“The 10th anniversary of her passing is approaching, and Murray and I wanted to do something that would be appropriate to honor her legacy and passion for Ole Miss," Tom continued. "To have her name on an endowment for accountancy scholarships is something truly special for Murray and me, and we know it would also have meant a great deal to mother. Future scholarship recipients should know that she graduated in two-and-a-half years with a perfect grade-point average, taking as many as 24 hours in a semester, without ever making a ‘B.’ We hope her scholarship recipients will emulate her work in the classroom and also give back to Ole Miss and to their communities as she did,” 

Tonya Flesher, the Arthur Andersen Professor of Accountancy and a former dean of accountancy, said a scholarship fits this alumna and pioneer.

“Mrs. Avent was one of the first female accountancy graduates, and she was also a successful businesswoman. It is very appropriate for her sons to honor her pioneering role in Mississippi with a scholarship for Ole Miss accountancy students. Her accomplishments are further evidence that a degree in accounting is excellent preparation for success in any business endeavor. The future recipients of the Louise Avent Scholarship in Accountancy will help pay tribute to the role that Mrs. Avent played in opening doors for women in accountancy.”

Individuals and organizations that wish to support the Louise M. Avent Memorial Scholarship Endowment in the Patterson School of Accountancy can send checks with the fund noted in the memo line to the University of Mississippi Foundation, P.O. Box 249, University, MS 38677; contact Brooke Barnes, development officer for accountancy atbrooke@olemiss.eduor 662-915-1993.

For more information, on Louise and the scholarship, head to HottyToddy.com.