By Rachel Doherty

The School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) hosted its annual Alumni Excellence Gala on May 9th in Toronto with the company of faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and SAF supporters.

The focus of the event was to celebrate our 2023 Alumni Award winners, Jeannine LiChong (MAcc ’92) for winning the Outstanding Alumni Achievement award and Ian Weng (MAcc ‘13) for winning the Leader to Watch award. 

You can read detailed profiles on our 2023 Alumni Award winners LiChong and Weng on our news page.

Jeannine LiChong accepts her award from Director Blake Phillips
Ian Weng accepts his award from Director Blake Phillips

Blake Phillips, director of SAF, addressed the crowd and provided exciting announcements including the development of the Executive Education in Sustainability in coordination with WATSpeed, as well as a message of good luck for the students travelling to Poland to compete in the CFA Research Institute’s Global Finals happening on May 16th (Spoiler: they won!).

The event was emceed by Tim Bauer, an SAF professor, who spoke eloquently about fellow professor Ranjini Jha and her upcoming retirement after 25 years of service at SAF. Bauer’s connection to Jha is deeper than just that of colleagues, as Jha also taught Bauer when he was an undergraduate student at SAF over 20 years ago.

Jha was given a heartfelt introduction by SAF professor Mark Arnason, also a fellow colleague who praised Jha for her work ethic, unique teaching style, and dedication to her students.

It was also announced that an endowment fund has been set up to honour Jha’s retirement, aptly named the Jha Family Scholarship for Excellence in Finance. This fund was set up to help students who have demonstrated academic excellence and are interested in pursuing a career in finance through work experience and/or related activities.

When Jha took the stage to accept her award, she graciously remarked that her achievements wouldn’t have been possible without her students and team at SAF. “Despite what you all said, all these achievements have been a team effort by faculty and staff, dedicated partners including alumni, generous donors and most important of all smart, educated and dedicated and enthusiastic students. And all of it was made possible by the leadership provided by SAF's directors."

The evening was a wonderful success celebrating all the bright minds that contribute to making UWaterloo’s School of Accounting and Finance a wonderful place to study and work.

If you are interested in contributing to the Jha Family Scholarship for Excellence in Finance, please visit our website or contact Sheilaah Guthrie for more information.