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Opening doors to graduate school

Freddy and Susan Robinson and family

Freddy and Susan Robinson and family

UNC Kenan-Flagler’s growing Master of Accounting (MAC) Program has long been recognized as one of the nation’s top accounting programs, known for its 98 percent employment rate for graduates and powerful alumni network.

But despite strong employment outcomes, the national number of MAC enrollees is down 20 percent, largely due to rising tuition costs and a strong labor market for undergraduates.

Freddy Robinson (BSBA ’74) and Susan Robinson (BA ’73) decided to do something about that by creating the Freddy and Susan Robinson Scholarship in Accounting Fund – UNC Kenan-Flagler’s first need-based scholarship specifically for the MAC Program.

Freddy Robinson is a tax partner and has been with Bernard Robinson & Company, L.L.P.  (BRC)  for over 40 years. Founded by Robinson’s father, BRC is a CPA and advisory firm with offices in Greensboro, Raleigh, Winston-Salem and Dunn, North Carolina, that serves clients across North Carolina and throughout the Southeast.

“Susan and I met as students in Chapel Hill, and we both have a great deal of affection for the University,” says Robinson. “While working on our estate planning, Susan suggested that we make our large commitment to UNC now rather than posthumously so we could see the benefits of the gift. In recognition of my successful career in accounting, we decided to focus our gift on the MAC program.”

Opening doors to graduate school is incredibly important to the MAC Program and to business more broadly, says Amy Wittmayer, managing director of the MAC Program.

Historically, more of the School’s existing merit-based fellowships go to students who are not considered financially needy. However, in today’s competitive environment, increasing numbers of talented first-generation and low-income college students earn undergraduate degrees but don’t always have the means to pursue grad school.

“The Robinsons’ generous gift ensures that talented students are able to join the MAC Program, independent of their financial capacity to pay for it,” says Wittmayer.

The Robinsons are glad to hear that. “We know how challenging it can be for many students to pay for higher education and the restraints that can be created by student loans after graduation,” says Robinson. “We discussed the terms of our proposed scholarship with our children who unanimously suggested that it be need based.”

“This gift is intended to express our gratitude to UNC for our outstanding educations and life lessons learned while in Chapel Hill. We hope the scholarship will encourage students to pursue their career passion with a reduced financial burden.”

“The Robinsons are true leaders in establishing the first-ever need-based aid for the MAC Program,” says Wittmayer. “Recognizing that these students have overcome many obstacles just to be admitted into the MAC Program, this fellowship acknowledges students’ hard work and determination to attend and complete graduate school in an elite program.”