The College of Business was in its infancy when Max Rexroad was hired to teach accounting. He joined the faculty in 1969 at the age of 27, expecting to remain until completing his dissertation at the University of Illinois. Plans changed when he realized the potential to help shape ISU’s program.

“I was on the ground floor of something brand new. We had a department to build, and I really liked that,” said Rexroad, who had previously worked for Arthur Andersen. Rexroad took a leave from the firm to complete his graduate work, which gave him an opportunity to teach an accounting class. “I decided I loved it.”

His affinity for ISU was equally strong. He taught primarily financial accounting and devoted 20 years to teaching a CPA exam review course. He teamed with colleagues to focus on fraud detection and deterrence as a research interest, gaining national accolades.

His school spirit was obvious with a red derby he wore as a result of serving as advisor to the students’ accounting society for a decade. Rexroad wanted a way for the group to be identified while completing community service. One student found the red hats in a St. Louis store, and the tradition was born.

Retired since 2004, Rexroad still owns a derby collection. He and his wife, Elaine, reside in Congerville. He remains active in professional accounting organizations. An ISU accounting scholarship has been created in his name. He returns to campus often, as he enjoys departmental events and interacting with students. Contact him at (309) 467-3572 or