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Professor Stephen Zeff
Receives Hourglass Award
from Academy of Accounting Historians

Professor Stephen ZeffHOUSTON, November 13, 2001. For his work on a biography commended by accounting history scholars throughout the world, Prof. Stephen Zeff, Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Accounting, receives his second Hourglass Award from the Academy of Accounting Historians.

Honored for his critically acclaimed biography Henry Rand Hatfield: Humanist, Scholar, and Accounting Educator (2000, JAI Press), Zeff becomes one of the few persons to receive the prestigious award twice.

He was the first recipient of the Hourglass Award at its inception in 1973.

The Academy of Accounting Historians seeks to encourage research, publication, teaching and personal interchanges in all phases of accounting history and its interrelation with business and economic history. Presented annually at the academy's November research conference, the Hourglass Award recognizes an individual who has made a demonstrable and significant contribution to knowledge through research and publication in accounting history.

"The quality of the biography and the scholarship Zeff presents in this book are impeccable," says Prof. O. Finley Graves, Rice MA '70, President of the Academy of Accounting Historians, and Professor of Accounting at Kansas State University.

"Through this book, he shows how values and other historical forces have influenced accounting thought. He has also brought Henry Rand Hatfield to life." Through meticulous research that spanned more than 30 years, Zeff published the acclaimed biography revealing the life and scholarship of Henry Rand Hatfield (1866-1945), long regarded as the "dean of accounting teachers everywhere."

Zeff began his research on Hatfield's life in the 1960s, when at the encouragement of Maurice Moonitz, a former student of Hatfield's and professor of accounting at the University of California, Berkeley - he began poring over Hatfield's extensive files of correspondence, notes and papers stored in the university. Zeff then proceeded to interview, or correspond with, many of Hatfield's former colleagues and students.

"Even though I knew Hatfield personally, I had been unaware of his earlier life," wrote Moonitz in the book's preview. "Zeff… [gives] us a detailed account of a member of a scarce breed: a person of high intelligence, broad education, and high moral values."

"The book is characteristic of the body of work Zeff has delivered throughout his entire career," Graves says. "His work reflects how accounting is more than just adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing - that it is socially motivated and imbued with values."

The volume already has received rave reviews from accounting scholars:

  • "It's a delightful book. It is what we have come to expect from Zeff: painstakingly researched, elegantly written, and vastly informative," —Philip Bougen, University of New Mexico, The British Accounting Review.
  • "Zeff has succeeded in producing an exemplary biography - a daunting task that took 35 years of intermittent effort to complete and stands as a reflection of his growth into a notable accounting biographer." —Richard Vangersmeesch, University of Rhode Island, Business History Review
  • "[The book] is a very full autobiographical study continuing numerous matters: comparative dimensions to his work; his poetry and fables; his attributes as a teacher; his sanguine assessment of events in Nazi Germany following his visit to that country in 1933; and his personal life."—John Richard Edwards, Cardiff Business School, Accounting, Business and Financial History
  • "A wonderful book... a delight to read. The book gives a valuable account of an interesting period in the development of accounting thought and the early history of business education, but, more importantly Zeff's biography is a fascinating study of a highly intelligent, complex individual." —Richard Brief, New York University, The Accounting Review

Zeff, who has taught at Rice University since 1978, was editor of The Accounting Review in 1977–82 and was president of the American Accounting Association in 1985–86. In 1988, he received the AAA's Outstanding Accounting Educator Award, and in 1999 the AAA's International Accounting Section named him the recipient of its International Accounting Educator Award.

Zeff holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Colorado, M.B.A. and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan, and an honorary doctorate in economics from the Turku School of Economics and Business Administration, in Finland.

About the Jones School
The Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management is one of seven academic units of Rice University. Named in honor of the late Jesse Holman Jones, a prominent Houston business and civic leader, the school received its initial funding in 1974 through a major gift from the Houston Endowment Inc., a philanthropic foundation established by Jones and his wife, Mary Gibbs Jones. The school offers the MBA degree as well as the following joint degrees: joint MBA/ME with the George R. Brown School of Engineering and MD/MBA with Baylor College of Medicine. Rice University Executive Education offers a full schedule of non-credit executive education and customized courses for business and industry.

2001 rankings published by the Financial Times puts the Jones School in the top 10 in four categories: value for the money, employment rate, finance programs, and entrepreneurship programs. The Jones School also has been recognized in the Wall Street Journal as one of the nation's best up-and-coming business schools.

About Rice
Rice University is consistently ranked one of America's best teaching and research universities. It is distinguished by its:

  • Size: 2,700 undergraduates and 1,500 graduate students;
  • Selectivity: 10 applicants for each place in the freshman class;
  • Resources: an undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 5-to-1, and the third largest endowment per student among American universities;
  • Residential college system, which builds communities that are both close-knit and diverse; and
  • Collaborative culture: which crosses disciplines, integrates teaching and research, and intermingles undergraduate and graduate work.

Rice's wooded campus is located in Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city, second only to New York in Fortune 500 headquarters.

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