Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Jesse R. Ligo, Jr., Professor of Accounting and a 1982 Westminster College graduate has earned the 2012 Service and Support Award from Westminster College's Audio Visual Services. Open to all qualifying Westminster College alumni, the award celebrates outstanding service and/or support and is presented annually as the finale to the college's AV Week celebration.
Jesse R. Ligo, Jr., M.B.A., C.P.A., earned his B.A. in Business Administration (summa cum laude) from Westminster in 1982. Initially he desired to be a teacher and coach, but changed majors, choosing to work in the field of public accounting. A year later, he completed his M.B.A. at Bowling Green State University and passed his Certified Public Accounting exam. He has been a licensed certified public accountant since 1985. Over this span, Mr. Ligo had teaching stints at Bowling Green, Grove City and Thiel Colleges before returning to his alma mater in 2008, the same fall that his son, Rich entered college as a freshman. He currently serves as a Professor of Accounting and Interim Chair of the department of Economics and Business.
His love of working the land and running his own business since 1991 as owner/operator of Drove Pasture Farm, a crop and beef farm in Mercer, PA, has allowed him a unique opportunity to bring the critical element of reality into his classroom and to share with a wide range of students what it takes to be successful, regardless of endeavor.
Ligo's Accounting Capstone program is uniquely designed to help students transition into professional life. He currently is working with fellow Accounting Professor David Smith on revisions to the accounting major and course proposals so that students can satisfy one of the requirements for CPA licensing by graduation. Ultimately this will make Westminster more attractive to potential students and better their educational experience and transition into the workplace and licensing.
Dan Fischmar, Westminster Professor in Economics and Business, believes that Mr. Ligo exemplifies all the best qualities that Westminster tries to instill in its graduates. "I am invariably amazed by the passion he brings to his classes and the compassion he shows for his students," Fischmar shared. "His program of guest lecturers opens a view of the accounting world that no textbook can offer. Jess's down-to-earth, modest personality masks a razor-sharp intellect. He is that rare individual whose every encounter leaves the world, or at least the Westminster world, a far better place."
Fellow Professor Gail Miller concurs. "Aside from slopping the hogs, feeding the cattle, and picking the corn, he has the time to teach his students the lessons of life well lived."
"Jesse always gives his 100% to the department," Rotua Lumbantobing, Assistant Professor of Economics related. "He even makes sure that we are healthy enough to teach our students by supplying us with fruits and veggies from his farm whenever he can."
Current and former students alike also share that praise. Words like dedicated, appreciative, straightforward, unselfish, resourceful, father-like, creative, passionate, caring, thoughtful, fair, kind, and generous abound when asked to recount their experiences with Mr. Ligo. Some mentioned fond memories of home-cooked meals and life-changing discussions at the farm, while others recounted his integrity and genuine interest in their lives beyond the classroom, even going as far as to offer a place to stay for Thanksgiving should their commute over a short break be impossible.
Former student/advisee Ryan Brucker (‘12) perhaps summed it up best. "Professor Ligo has proven to be an invaluable member to the Westminster College community. His constant care, admiration and appreciation for students, fellow faculty members and Westminster College overall, sets him apart. Being a focused and forward thinking individual, Professor Ligo has always shown an inclination to advance Westminster's reputation through his full-hearted influence on students. Ultimately, the impact from his enduring commitment to the student body and Westminster community will be felt for a long time."
Ligo is an active church volunteer, and serves as a board member and secretary/treasurer for the Penn State Mercer County Cooperative Extension. On campus, Ligo serves as an accounting internship advisor, Student Life and Athletic Council committee member, and is involved with the college's Ever Higher Campaign.
Jesse and his wife, Amy Klipa Ligo ('84), reside in Mercer, PA. The couple has two sons. Rich graduated from Westminster in 2012 as a Mathematics major and is now attending the University of Iowa in a masters/doctoral program. Youngest son, Joe is a junior at Westminster majoring in Broadcast Communications.
"Jesse Ligo embodies service and support excellence in every facet of his life," noted Director of AV Services, Gary L. Swanson (‘88). "While our department continually strives to achieve that level of excellence, the winners of this award inspire us to perform service above self through their commitment to the college's mission long after their graduation. The award committee reviews a number of worthy candidates every year. Choosing one is a challenging task that they take very seriously and I'm particularly pleased to learn of the committee's 2012 selection."
The Service and Support award is open to all qualifying Westminster alumni and is one of the highlight events of the college's annual AV WEEK celebration. Previous honorees include 2007 winner Mark Slezak ('87), an elementary teacher from Hermitage; 2008's Denny Wolfe ('97), an Emmy Award-winning ESPN producer; 2009 honoree Betsy Nolan Sieg ('07), purchasing manager for Metro Bank; 2010 winner Todd Hervey ('94), award-winning special projects director/editor at Fuel Creative, Inc.; 2011 winner Dr. Dar Huey ('74), professor of education, former director of the college's graduate program, and a defensive coach for some of the finest Titan football teams in Westminster's storied history.
Further details on the award, past winners, and how to nominate someone for the 2013 award are available here.
Contact AV at (724) 946-7188, or email avstaff @westminster.edu, for additional information.