Alumnus Invests in Ole Miss Accounting Program

N. Gordon Thompson contributes to building fund

Rendering of a proposed new building with an outdoor amphitheater.

OXFORD, Miss. – N. Gordon Thompson hopes his investment in the Patterson School of Accountancy's new building at the University of Mississippi will help the school continue to capture national rankings.

"The Patterson School of Accountancy is consistently ranked among the top accounting programs in the country and, as such, it attracts students to Ole Miss who are committed to preparing themselves for careers as the next leaders of the accounting profession," the Memphis, Tennessee, resident said. "These students come from across the nation and beyond, and they raise the bar academically for the overall reputation of Ole Miss.

"Similar to athletics, to continue competing with other top-ranked universities in attracting the 'best of the best' accounting students, the facilities also must be 'best of the best.' This facility with state-of-the-art capabilities will raise the visibility of the program and ensure our university's ongoing position of prominence."

Thompson's $125,000 gift is committed to the construction of a 100,000-square-foot new home for the school at the intersection of University Avenue and Grove Loop, overlooking the Grove. To recognize his gift, the school will name a second-floor faculty suite in Thompson's honor.

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Jan (left) and N. Gordon Thompson have made a major gift to the Patterson School of Accountancy Building Fund. Gordon Thompson is a CPA and an Ole Miss accountancy alumnus. Submitted photo

"I look forward to seeing the Patterson School maintain its top ranking among SEC schools and be the No. 1-ranked program in the nation," said the CPA and wealth management adviser. "This facility will be a magnet for attracting talented students as well as the next generation of highly qualified faculty."

Long a fixture in national rankings, the school is ranked No. 8 in the U.S. and No. 1 in the SEC.

For many years, Thompson and his wife, Jan, have been committed to "giving back in appreciation of the blessings we have enjoyed because of my Ole Miss education and experience.

"Our focus has been primarily directed to need-based scholarship opportunities at Ole Miss and in our broader Memphis community. We previously had not considered capital campaign projects., but we recognize the significant impact this facility will have on generations of accounting professionals."

Mark Wilder, the school's dean, expressed appreciation for Thompson's gift.

"It is both humbling and inspiring to have Gordon Thompson and other accountancy alumni so interested, committed, and engaged in helping our school move to even greater heights of excellence," Wilder said. "Gordon has been a loyal and generous supporter of ours for many years – and has played an important role in the successes that the Patterson School enjoys today.

"This new building will help us recruit outstanding students, faculty and staff, and will ensure that the future is bright for the Patterson School for decades to come."

As a high school student, Thompson was drawn to the then-relatively small enrollment at Ole Miss and its proximity to Memphis, his hometown. His mother also had attended the university. He thought limited financial resources would keep him in Memphis, but he was surprised with an offer of scholarships and financial aid.

Thompson visited Oxford for the first time when he arrived for fraternity rush the week before classes began.

"Ultimately, I selected accounting with the expectation that it would provide the strongest foundation and a defined occupational path," he said. "That led me to a deeper relationship with my Sigma Nu fraternity advisers, (the now late) Gene Peery and Dr. Jimmy Davis, both legendary accountancy professors who encouraged and supported me, including arranging for a part-time position at a local business."

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Alumnus N. Gordon Thompson (left) gathers with his family: (from left) daughters Whitney T. Prince and Mary T. Paige; wife, Jan Thompson; and son, Rod Thompson. All three of the Thompson children are Ole Miss alumni. Thompson has made a $125,000 gift to the Patterson School of Accountancy Building Fund. Submitted photo

When he graduated in 1975, he entered a difficult job market, initially working as a junior accountant in a publicly held company. He had plans to enter law school.

"I quickly determined that the opportunity to serve a diverse clientele and collaborate with them to accomplish their goals was the career I was seeking," said Thompson, who was a founder and managing partner of the Memphis CPA firm Mayer Thompson Dunavant PLC, the largest local firm at the time. "My partners and I are most proud of the hundreds of professional careers we influenced during those 20 years."

Today, Thompson leads TD Capital, a wealth management firm he founded in 1996.

"Many of our current client relationships date back to my earliest days in public accounting," he said. "I cannot imagine any other career path that could have been as rewarding as the one that started in Mr. Peery's principles of accounting class."

Thompson and his wife previously endowed the Claude P. Thompson Ole Miss First Scholarship to honor his mother while assisting accountancy majors from nontraditional families.

To learn more about supporting the Patterson School of Accountancy building, contact Jason McCormick, executive director for development, at jason@olemiss.edu or 662-915-1757; or give online here.

By

Tina H. Hahn

Campus

Office, Department or Center

Published

July 06, 2024