Grace College School of Business Raises $1.5 Million for Accounting Endowed Chair
Grace College’s School of Business recently raised $1.5 million from alumni, donors and friends of the institution to fund the Dr. Roger Stichter Endowed Chair of Accounting. The chair is the second of its kind at Grace and is designed to help the college recruit and retain high-quality accounting faculty.
“The endowed chair allows us to fully fund a professor’s salary outside of our annual budget,” said Dr. Nathan Harris, vice president of advancement at Grace. “This means that we can fund the accounting faculty position in perpetuity, advancing the ethos and ministry of Dr. Roger Stichter for many years to come.”
Stichter has served as the only full-time accounting faculty at Grace for 25 years. During that time, the accounting program has grown from 13 students to more than 75 students majoring in accounting today. The $1.5 million endowed chair allowed the program to hire a second instructor of accounting, Danielle Deal, who was instructed by Stichter during her time at Grace.
“I hope that as a result of the generous gifts that made this second position possible, many students and graduates, as well as their employers, spouses, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and future generations will give thanksgiving to God for how this position influenced them spiritually, personally and professionally,” said Stichter.
Stichter, who was raised on a farm, never imagined himself as a professor. Yet, his jobs on the farm taught him the value of hard work, grit and perseverance – characteristics that serve an accountant well. As the Lord led him to Grace College, he found these attributes to be a great help, and these are the same traits he instills in his students today.
“I am one of the many students Dr. Stichter has personally impacted through his exceptional teaching and intentional mentoring in and out of the classroom,” said Jessica Bricker, a 2003 Grace graduate who now serves as a financial advisor at Winona Wealth Management and board member for Grace College and Seminary. “Dr. Stichter has dedicated his life to educating and equipping accounting students to pursue excellence with integrity, great work ethic and determination. We are so glad to carry that legacy forward and look forward to seeing the continued impact on generations of students to come through the Dr. Roger Stichter Endowed Chair of Accounting.”
According to Stichter, his approach to the program is three-fold: he teaches students how to work hard, he advises them in how to learn better and he makes them feel welcomed into the Grace accounting community — a community that extends to alumni from coast to coast.
Stichter is notorious on campus for the devotions he shares before his classes. While this is where cultivating community starts for Stichter, it’s not where it ends. He maintains a connection with his ever-growing list of alumni via monthly emails where he provides program updates, shares job opportunities and encourages alumni to use their career to make an impact.
“I place a lot of my time and energy into staying connected with our students after they graduate,” said Stichter. “I want them to know that I am always available to support them in their careers, in their relationships and in their faith.”
To learn more about the accounting program at Grace, visit https://www.grace.edu/