Present and former partners and employees of the Joplin accounting firm of BKD and other friends of the university have joined together to create a $500,000 BKD Endowed Professorship in Accounting at Missouri Southern State University.

The effort will provide a salary stipend to help recruit accounting professors to Missouri Southern.  The stipends will be permanently funded with the revenue from the new endowment fund.

Dr. Chris Moos, interim dean of the Plaster School of Business at Missouri Southern, said the endowed professorship represents a perfect example of business working with education.

“We want to express our gratitude to the donors who contributed to this endowment,” said Moos. “Their generosity will help us recruit and support excellent faculty members, benefiting accounting students and the profession as a whole.”

Retired BKD partner and current Governmental Accounting Standards board member James E. “Jim” Brown was the catalyst for the effort, said Dr. John Tiede, Missouri Southern Foundation consultant.

Donors were recognized during a recent event at Missouri Southern’s Ralph L. Gray Alumni Center. Brown spoke on behalf of donors, while Mike Gray, a current BKD partner, spoke on behalf of the accounting firm.

Dr. David M. Smith, MSSU professor of accounting, spoke about the value of the new endowed professorship to students at the Plaster School of Business.

For more information about the endowment, contact Tiede at 417-623-3779 or