Don and Donna Millican pledge $1.5 million to establish new accounting chair at UNT

By: 
Teresa Love & Monique Bird

DENTON (UNT), Texas - A $1.5 million commitment from University of North Texas alumnus Don Millican and his wife Donna Millican has established the Don and Donna Millican Endowed Chair in Accounting at the UNT College of Business. Don Millican, chief financial officer at Kaiser-Francis Oil Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a 1974 graduate of UNT, and the endowed chair supports his vision of preparing UNT students to compete at the highest levels in the accounting field.

“This is a transformative gift that allowed the College of Business to conduct a national search for an experienced, highly qualified chair for the Department of Accounting,” said Marilyn Wiley, dean of the UNT College of Business.

Ananth Seetharaman, the inaugural holder of the chair and a professor, joined UNT on Aug. 15 after serving as the Ernst & Young Distinguished Professor and chairman of the Department of Accounting at Saint Louis University. Under his leadership there, the undergraduate and graduate accounting programs gained national prominence, with rankings in the top 25 nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

Seetharaman holds a doctoral degree and two master’s degrees from Georgia State University. An award-winning teacher, his primary interests are in income taxation and managerial accounting, and he has taught at the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels. Additionally, Seetharaman’s research has appeared in a number of high-level publications, including The Accounting Review, the Journal of Accounting and Economics and Accounting Horizons.

“With Dr. Seetharaman’s leadership, the College of Business will move its academically successful accounting program to national prominence,” said Wiley.

“UNT gave me an outstanding foundation on which I have been blessed to build a successful career,” said Millican. “I attribute that foundation to the excellent teaching and the strong work ethic culture that continues to exist at UNT. I believe it is the mission of UNT, and particularly the College of Business and the Department of Accounting, to give students an educational platform that will truly change the trajectory of their lives.”

Millican added that he hopes that other UNT alumni will continue to support the university.  

“Do whatever you can to give current and future students the same opportunity you were given,” he said.