When The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation (COBI) dedicated the new Alan Barry Accounting Lab on September 23, it recognized and honored the alum whose gift made it reality.
Alan H. Barry, a 1966 graduate of the College, made the generous leadership donation to establish a unique accounting lab to help students who love accounting as much as he did.
"As an accounting grad, it's always nice to look for ways to help students who are like I was," Mr. Barry said. "This Lab is something that will be used by many students, and because I was already involved with the College of Business, it just made sense to support it."
“The University of Toledo is so fortunate to have generous alumni like Alan Barry who achieve great success and then give back to ensure our students today have access to the very best tools and help them succeed,” said Interim President Nagi Naganathan. "The Alan Barry Accounting Lab will be integral to students’ education and their success for years to come and help us showcase Alan’s contribution.”
"The Alan Barry Accounting Lab is one of the things that we can do for business students that is not done elsewhere," COBI Dean Gary Insch said. "We are a business school, and we have business professionals who can help us. Furthermore, the establishment of the Lab again demonstrates the College's continuing vibrant relationship with the regional business community."
Recalling his time in the UT business college, Mr. Barry said, "I was born and raised in Toledo, and worked my way through school. Accounting was my course of study and my first love, and I have remained close to the accounting department and made many friends there."
"I was talking with Dr. (Hassan) HassabElnaby (Chair of the Accounting Department in the UT College of Business and Innovation) at a student scholarship event and he was saying he would like a leadership lab for accounting students. I have always been interested with the leadership aspect and was involved with the Ernst & Young Leadership Lab in the Savage & Associates Business Complex. The need for the Accounting Lab was explained, it hit close to home, and I said, 'Let's do it.'"
Mr. Barry was the former president and chief operating officer of Masco Corporation, retiring in 2008 after more than 35 years with the company.
Mr. Barry and his wife Karen have also made generous gifts in recent years to the Alan and Karen Barry Scholarship Fund which provides support for full-time UT business accounting students, based on both merit and needs. He is also active in the UT Alumni Association, was a Blue Key Member, and currently serves on the UT Foundation Board of Trustees.
Furthermore, through Mr. Barry's support, the COBI's accounting department will start the Alan Barry Workshop Series this fall. These workshops are free for accounting students and provide them with additional skills needed for the job market and the information age.
"The purpose of the new Alan Barry Accounting Lab is to enhance the accounting students' learning experience and also to provide a wide array of services to both accounting students and area residents," noted Dr. HassabElnaby.
"For students, the Lab will provide one-on-one tutoring services, assistance with writing projects, and the most advanced accounting simulation software to help students improve their understanding of important accounting concepts," he explained. "It will hold the review material for the very important and demanding certified public accountant (CPA) exam, and it will be a resource for COBI accounting professional organizations, such as Beta Alpha Psi."
This Lab will also be the first lab nationwide to have a certified management accountant (CMA) lab license, where students can have free access to the CMA review material from Wiley to prepare for the CMA exam.
"For the community, the Lab will serve as the location of the free income tax preparation assistance COBI provides each year to qualified low-to-moderate income individuals and families in the Toledo area during the spring income tax filing season," Dr. HassabElnaby said.
Although COBI had an accounting lab, the room was small and only had equipment to provide tutoring services for sophomore accounting students.
The new Lab has six computers and a printer, as well as licensed software such as QuickBooks Pro 2014, GoVenture accounting simulation software, WhiteSmoke premium writing software, Yaeger CPA review program, and more.
The Alan Barry Accounting Lab is located in Room 2130 in the College's new Savage & Associates Business Complex. The dedication will be held on Tuesday at 1 p.m. The Lab is open to students Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.