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Scholarship funds to honor careers of retiring accountancy professors Kauffman, Swanger

kauffman swanger scholarships

Ken Hughes of the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees (center) joins retiring accountancy professors Susan Swanger (left) and Leroy Kauffman at a recent event affixing the FORVIS name to WCU’s accountancy programs.

Although the end of the 2022 fall semester brings to a close the careers of two popular Western Carolina University accountancy professors, it does not mean the end of their support for students in the College of Business.

That’s because N. Leroy Kauffman, a faculty member since 1994, and Susan L. Swanger, a faculty member since 1997, have established separate scholarship funds to provide financial assistance to deserving accountancy students.

Swanger, who has served as director of WCU’s FORVIS Master’s Degree Program in Accountancy, has established the Susan Swanger, CPA, Ph.D., Professional Accountancy Endowed Scholarship Fund. The scholarship is designed to provide assistance to graduate students pursuing a career change to professional accountancy after completing an undergraduate degree in a field other than accounting.

Kauffman, a former dean of the College of Business, recently created the Dr. N. Leroy and Judy Kauffman Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will provide financial support to undergraduate students studying accountancy.

Students past and present, faculty and staff colleagues, and friends and family of Kauffman and Swanger are encouraged to make a contribution to the scholarship fund of their choice to honor the careers of these two long-time educators, said A.J. Grube, dean of the College of Business.

“The College of Business has been fortunate to have had such consistent, steady hands guiding its accountancy programs. They will truly be missed,” Grube said. “Dr. Kauffman has earned his reputation as a passionate advocate for students and an excellent teacher. When I meet with alumni, they often ask about Dr. Kauffman and they are eager to share memories of their time with him. This is the greatest testament to his legacy.”

From directing the master’s program to organizing an annual banquet for students, alumni and industry representatives, Swanger has left a lasting mark on the college, Grube said. “One of Dr. Swanger’s greatest strengths has been creating connections between students and industry. The time and energy she gave to preparing students to begin professional lives is unparalleled. She has built relationships among professionals in the accounting industry that have evolved into friendships,” she said.

Originally launched in 2014, Swanger Scholarships have provided assistance to a total of 16 students to date. Additional contributions to the fund will increase the number of scholarships that can be awarded in the future, Grube said.

The Kauffman Scholarship is newly established, and the Kauffmans are offering to match contributions to the fund on a dollar-for-dollar basis, up to $13,000.

A licensed certified public accountant, Swanger is a member of the American Accounting Association, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants and Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Swanger earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Kent State University in 1977, her master’s degree in business administration from WCU in 1993 and her doctorate in accounting from the University of South Carolina in 1998. She resides in the Fines Creek community of Haywood County with her husband, Mark Swanger, a retired FBI agent and former chair of the Haywood County Board of Commissioners.

Kauffman has spent more than 45 years in higher education, beginning at Eastern Mennonite College in 1978 after earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration there in 1977. He went on to earn his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Montana in 1978, and his doctorate in accounting in 1988 from The Ohio State University, where he taught as a doctoral student.

He also taught at Virginia Tech before arriving at WCU, where, in addition to dean, he has served as associate dean and department head and on the Faculty Senate, including a term as chair. A certified public accountant in North Carolina and Ohio for more than 25 years, he resides in Clyde with his wife, Judith Kauffman.

To make a contribution to the Susan Swanger, CPA, Ph.D., Professional Accountancy Endowed Scholarship Fund, visit

To make a contribution to the Dr. Leroy and Judy Kauffman Endowed Scholarship Fund, visit

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