Tennessee Tech accounting alumnus establishes award for accounting faculty

COOKEVILLE – David K. Morgan credits his Tennessee Tech University education for a successful career as a certified public accountant. As a thank you to the department that prepared him to be a CPA and to the faculty who teach future accountants, Morgan established the David K. Morgan Endowed Accounting Faculty Award. 

Thomas Payne, dean of Tech’s College of Business, says Morgan has been a long-time supporter, served on a number of advisory boards and worked with his accounting firm LBMC to recruit Tech students and provide accounting internships. 

“David is a leader who builds bridges among people and institutions,” said Payne. “This generous gift provides a tangible way to recognize, reward and retain high-performing accounting faculty. In addition, the David K. Morgan Endowed Faculty Award will further enhance the reputation of the outstanding Tennessee Tech accounting program.”

Morgan credits professors Don Cook, Joe Thorn, Ed Waters and James Barger for preparing him for a career in public accounting. However, he admits he didn’t know what a CPA was when he first enrolled at Tech. 

“I grew up in a working-class family,” he explained. “My father worked in a factory, and my mother worked at Kmart. My parents wanted all of their sons to get an education. That was their goal and they made it happen – but it was a stretch. I got every scholarship and every loan I could to get through college.” 

After graduating from Tech, Morgan passed the CPA exam and started his career at a firm in Nashville. Eventually, he would go on to establish Lattimore, Black, Morgan and Cain P.C., now known as LBMC. LBMC is a professional services CPA firm offering accounting, tax, audit and consulting services and a family of other companies offering professional services in human resources, staffing, technology, finance, healthcare and investments. Morgan and the other partners established the firm in 1984 with 12 employees. Today, it has grown to 750 employees and multiple offices in Tennessee and beyond. 

For years, Morgan has supported Tech’s accounting faculty and international trips for accounting students. Now, he wants to do something on a larger scale. Morgan says he knows Tech can recruit accounting students, but the university needs faculty with advanced degrees in accounting to teach those students. 

“I had a great collegiate experience at Tennessee Tech,” said Morgan. “And I had several professors who were great teachers and great people who inspired me to be a CPA. I hope students come out of Tech prepared to succeed in the world. I hope they advance in their careers and become partners in firms and do great work for their clients. The thing about public accounting is that we serve the public. Whether it’s businesses or individuals, they need the services we provide.” 

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