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Kelly named Millican Chair

Friday, October 5, 2007  
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By Kristin Cumbie

Oklahoma Christian University associate professor of accounting Elaine Kelly was named the J.J. Millican chair in accounting. This is an honor following an endowment established by Don Millican and his wife Donna.

The Millican’s established the $1 million endowment and gave it to Oklahoma Christian in January of 2005 in honor of Millican’s father J.J. (Joe) Millican.

Joe is described as a Christian businessman, faithful husband and devoted father. He worked as a certified public accountant and as a national partner with Ernst and Young, until he retired in 1980. Joe passed away in 1990.

Kelly became the J.J. Millican chair in accounting in January of 2007.

The honor was a surprise to Kelly.

“This is a very special and deep honor, knowing this was in honor of his father,” Kelly said.

Phil Lewis, dean of the college of professional studies, and Mickey Cowan, associate professor in accounting, each worked behind the scenes to select Kelly for the honor.

“I made my recommendation, and it required the approval of the President and the Vice President of Academic Affairs,” Lewis said.
The announcement was made at the J.J. Millican Ethics Symposium in December of 2006. All of Kelly’s family was in attendance for the announcement.

“I was extremely surprised. I had no idea this was happening,” Kelly said.

The endowment was invested, and there is a portion taken out and divided every year to be used in the accounting department.

“We focus our portion of the funds on accounting and ethics,” Kelly said. “These are the two areas that Don stressed were important to his father.”

There are multiple things that have come into existence since the original establishment of the endowment.

“She is responsible for overseeing the initial planning of the ethics symposium,” Lewis said.

The ethics symposium is open to the community and will be held in December.

Kelly is responsible for helping with an ethics paper competition and is an advocate for teaching the importance of ethics to her students.

“I feel very strongly that our students must start thinking about ethical standards,” Kelly said. “The decision you make today will affect who you are.”

Kelly would like to see more things done with the endowment gift such as research competitions, and anything else to push ethics.

“Mrs. Kelly has always handled all of the scholarshipping for the school of business,” Lewis said.

Kelly is a graduate of East Central University and went into public accounting for four years after graduation.

Kelly came to Oklahoma Christian as a professor after her children went to school.

“One reason I work here is because I can blend work with family,” Kelly said.

Along with her responsibilities as the chair in accounting, she has also started the Accounting club and Women in Business.

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