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Linfield Magazine #27

Solid education basis of success I have many memories from my Linfield experience. Each involves people who have impacted my life. Dave Hansen was a professor of economics. I only had a few classes from him, but he remembers me after all of these years! Bob and Jamie Jones – Bob was a physics professor and Jamie worked in the fi nancial aid department. They adopted me as one of their family, as they did with many other Linfi eld students. Bill Apel, religious studies professor and college chaplain, performed our wedding ceremony. Myrtle Fricke, the SPURS advisor, demonstrated through her actions graciousness, humility and service. However the person who most impacted my career is Professor Mike Jones, who was starting his second year of teaching accounting when I was a freshman. I was his first advisee – a role new to him. I liked math so I talked Mike into letting me take calculus “for fun.” It was the hardest class I have ever taken. Mike and I learned something together that first semester: 1) calculus is really hard, 2) do not let accounting majors take calculus unless they’re going to have a dual major with mathematics, and 3) don’t let freshmen take really hard classes outside of their major “for fun.” Mike taught most of my accounting classes and he and Professor Clemens gave me a very solid accounting background. There were only 11 accounting majors in the class of ’82. We were close and spent a lot of time with Professor Jones, in class, in his office and even at his home for study sessions. He wanted 1 8 - l i n f i e l d m a g a z i n e Summer 2013 us all to succeed. After completing intermediate accounting, I worked as a teaching assistant for several of Mike’s accounting classes. That gave me additional experience in working through accounting problems, helping fellow students and reviewing others’ work. Professors Jones and Clemens, other business department professors and the required liberal arts coursework prepared me for success in the business world. The education and opportunities at Linfield assisted me in getting my first job at what was then a Big 8 accounting firm. I began as a tax specialist preparing tax returns, working on financial statement preparations and keeping up with the tax code. As I moved into private industry I continued to do tax work and prepare financial statements with the added duty of managing an office and the staff who supported me, always drawing on the skills I learned at Linfield. In my current position I continue to do all of those things along with leading several audits and assisting on many others. My accounting and management skills are as good as they are due to the education and guidance that Mike gave me. Linfield has provided me and thousands of other students with a good foundation. I would like to thank Mike Jones and the entire Linfield community for the impact that you all have had on my life. Let us continue to work together to make the Linfield experience available to future generations. Robin (Burmeister) Nichols ’82 Sublimity CPA, Manager, Boldt, Carlisle & Smith LLC Robin (Burmeister) Nichols ’82 said many professors at Linfield directly impacted her life, but called Mike Jones the most influential professor in her Linfield education.


Linfield Magazine #27
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