Doug Hart ’95 has come a long way from his rural roots, having transitioned from his hometown of Goodfield with a population of less than 1,000 to working in New York City.

An audit partner with Deloitte & Touche LLP, Hart serves clients in the financial services industry specializing in private equity and real estate. He attributes his success to the strong foundation Illinois State University provided, especially a comprehensive review course provided to graduating accounting students.

“The review class I took in the spring semester of my senior year prepared me well to pass the CPA exam before I started my job at Deloitte,” Hart said as he recalled completing the professional exam required of accounting managers. “If you don’t pass the exam before you begin working, it becomes much more difficult, and you have less time to study.”

Hart also appreciated mentoring relationships made at ISU with Accounting Professor Emeritus Dr. Max Rexroad and Finance, Insurance, and Law Faculty Emeritus Dr. Edmund Ficek. When Hart returns to Illinois for family visits, he makes time to meet Rexroad at the Busy Corner in Goodfield.

“I had a lot of mentorship along the way from my professors and from my parents, who paid for me to go to college,” Hart said. With gratitude for the support he received, Hart recently established the Doug Hart Accounting Scholarship to benefit students who demonstrate financial need. The inaugural recipient will be selected for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Hart hopes the scholarship will encourage students to pursue a career in accounting, especially as the demand for public accountants increases. He also hopes to provide opportunity for students with financial need.

Hart sees philanthropy as a reflection of his values. He and his family—including his wife Jenifer and six children—are “blessed to be a blessing to others,” Hart said. “To whom much is given, much is required. I have had many people invest in me, and I would like to invest in creating opportunities for others.”

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