First Accounting Alumni Award given to Jack Reagan, B'89

November 27, 2017
AccountingFest honors alumnus with new award.

“I couldn’t have achieved anything in my professional career without what I learned at Richmond,” said Jack Reagan, B’89, who received the first Accounting Alumni Award for his commitment to the Robins School. 

Reagan, partner at Grant Thornton, LLP, says he owes everything in his professional and personal life to the University of Richmond.

“I met my wife here, I met all of my mentors here, so I have a deep loyalty to UR and to the accounting program,” Reagan said.

Reagan has an extensive career, working at PwC, KPMG, CliftonLarsonAllen, and Grant Thornton, where he has been since 2014.

He says the combination of a liberal arts and business education is extremely important in the business world today, and has driven his career for nearly 30 years.

“A university curriculum helps lay that foundation, and from an accounting perspective, we have one of the strongest programs in the country,” Reagan said.

Reagan was instrumental in creating the AccountingFest program. Darrell Walden, chair of the accounting department, says Reagan changed their approach to student and alumni engagement.

“Jack was passionate about student recruitment from the beginning,” Walden said. “He created numerous opportunities for students to find employment with various accounting firms, including his own.”

Reagan said he wanted current students to have the experience he had on campus, and the chance to connect with alumni who could help them in their career.

“As a freshman or sophomore, having the opportunity to interact with alumni in the business community helps students expand their network,” Reagan said. “I tell students that most of the relationships that they have had over the years has been a parent-child or teacher-student relationship, but as you are entering the recruiting process, you have to learn how to deal with people more than thirty years older than you, and that is an adjustment.”

He also reminds students that their greatest asset among alumni is that they are Spiders. As a recruiter, Reagan knows the tools that students need to land that first job, and he knows having the University of Richmond in common with an employer can be very beneficial for students.

“Before I am a representative of my firm, I’m a Spider,” Reagan said. “And I will always be a Spider first and a recruiter second. I want to help students make a comfortable choice for them for the first step in their professional career.”

Professor Joe Hoyle taught Reagan as a student, and says his commitment to the school has never wavered. 

“He has remained a consistent supporter of the Richmond teachers and students,” Hoyle said. “Whether a faculty member needs information or a student wants professional advice, Jack is always available. He always seems to have time to assist his Spider community.”

Reagan accepted the first accounting alumni award in October, and plans to continue his commitment to the Robins School.