Continuing a 50-Year Legacy of Teaching Excellence
Shawn Tebben is the inaugural Allen McConnell Endowed Chair in Accounting for the Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business
On the first day of class this fall, students in Principles of Accounting I took a seat in their Kepner Hall classroom and met Shawn Tebben. What they might not have known that first day was what their professor brought to the classroom: 30-plus years of experience in accounting, auditing and risk management. The first Allen McConnell Chair in Accounting, Tebben looks forward to sharing those experiences with her students, hoping to ignite in them a spark for her profession.
“Accounting provides such a great foundation for launching a career and really understanding what makes a business tick,” says Tebben, the former vice president of internal audit for Vail Resorts. “I want to help students understand there are multiple avenues an accounting degree can open up, and having that foundational information so you can ask good questions and know when you’re getting good answers is important for all business majors.”
Tebben says one of the most inspiring things she has experienced so far is the university community’s passion, enthusiasm and commitment to teaching that’s reflected in the Allen McConnell Endowed Chair in Accounting. Over an impressive, nearly 50-year legacy at UNC, Professor Allen McConnell touched many lives through his teaching, connections and mentoring, including those of the alumni who were compelled to establish an endowed chair in honor of their beloved professor.
“Many of my life successes since graduation in 1972 were a result of the classroom learnings, counseling and encouragement I received along the way from Professor McConnell,” says UNC Foundation board member Cheryl Wenzinger. “He gave us the right educational foundation, and taught us all so much more than just accounting. He nurtured us, helped us find job opportunities, counseled us on our careers … he went way beyond the classroom responsibilities with his students.”
Wenzinger, fellow UNC Foundation board member Tim Bradley ’80, Greg Anton ’87 and a handful of others led the alumni-driven campaign to raise enough money to announce the chair endowment in 2009 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Monfort College of Business (MCB), and continued momentum to fully establish the fund.
Reflecting on McConnell’s legacy at UNC, Tebben says she’s also looking forward to expanding and deepening the university’s relationships with community business leaders, accounting and audit firms, Colorado-based businesses, UNC alumni and professional organizations to ensure UNC accounting students have the best opportunities to launch successful, rewarding and impactful careers.
“Now that Shawn is the recipient of the endowed chair funding, we are excited about the future possibilities,” Wenzinger says. “To continue the special interaction and desire for excellence that McConnell, and other business school professors, have instilled in the program and in all of MCB’s students over the years … MCB is truly a special place for a business degree. The personal connection with professors cannot be underestimated. It makes a difference in students’ lives.”