The Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants’ (LCPA) Northshore Chapter recently reached the milestone $100,000 level in its scholarship endowment, creating a legacy that will have a significant impact on future accounting students.
Bryan Ehricht, CPA, a current LCPA Member At-Large and past Northshore Chapter President, explained how the endowment was established. “Several years ago, our chapter decided we needed to ‘make a difference’ in the lives of accounting students—future CPAs—and looked for a way to raise the necessary funds to do just that,” said Ehricht. “A likely source was revenue collected from the continuing education programs our chapter hosted for regional accountants. We realized that this type of ongoing education was an ideal means of meeting the immediate needs of our CPA members, and an opportunity to fund accounting scholarships.”
Ehricht credits other past Northshore Chapter board members, including Rick Simpson, Stella Helluin, Paul Riggs, Stephen Toups, and Brian Gallagher, for laying the groundwork for the scholarship plan and making the essential connection with the Southeastern Foundation in 2014.
The plan’s initial goal was to reach the $25,000 mark for the endowment. However, within a short time that initial goal was met and soon surpassed. “We saw attendance at our continuing education events increase, at least in part because members knew we were donating the profits to the endowment,” added Ehricht. “To ensure that the scholarship awards kept pace with tuition costs in the future, the new goal was raised to $100,000. We’ve met that goal and are pleased at how the endowment has grown.”
Additionally, some members have made personal donations to the endowment, which shows the commitment level of both the organization and its members. “We’ve all heard about college students’ mounting debt and the stresses that come along with it. By helping accounting majors deal with education-related expenses, we’re letting them know we’re investing in their future. For Southeastern students, for CPAs, for our profession—it’s a win for us all,” said Ehricht.
The scholarship has now been received by nine students over the past four years.