USM Graduate Student Earns Prestigious Accounting Scholarship

University of Southern Mississippi (USM) graduate student Patrick “Tyler” Pittman has been awarded a prestigious Legacy Scholarship for 2022-23 by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA). He is the only student from a Mississippi college or university to earn one of the coveted awards.

A native of Sumrall, Miss., Pittman recently earned his BSBA degree in accounting at USM. He is currently pursuing a Master of Professional Accounting degree.

“I am extremely grateful to receive an AICPA Legacy Scholarship. I specifically received the scholarship for minority accounting students which has helped me pay for upfront costs of the CPA exam,” said Pittman. “With this scholarship, I am able to focus on studying and hopefully pass before I start my career with KPMG.”

The AICPA Legacy Scholars program is designed to help students of different backgrounds become CPAs by assisting with the cost of their college education. The program also provides scholars with educational and professional development opportunities throughout the year.

The AICPA Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students provides financial awards to full-time minority students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in accounting or an accounting-related major. Applicants must have a GPA of at least a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

“We are proud to have Tyler as a student and grateful that the AICPA Legacy Scholars program has recognized his achievements,” said Dr. Blasé Sonnier, Director of USM’s School of Accountancy. “Having gotten to know Tyler over the past few months, I know that he will make USM proud on his way to the top of the accounting profession.”


Written by University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is a comprehensive public research institution delivering transformative programs on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, at teaching and research sites in central and southern Mississippi, as well as online. Founded in 1910, USM is one of only 130 universities in the nation to earn the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” designation, and its robust research enterprise includes experts in ocean science and engineering, polymer science and engineering, and sport venue safety and security, among others. USM is also one of only 40 institutions in the nation accredited in theatre, art and design, dance and music. As an economic driver, USM generates an annual economic impact of more than $600 million across the state. USM welcomes a diverse student body of approximately 15,000, representing 71 countries, all 50 states, and every county in Mississippi. USM students have collected four Truman Scholarships and 36 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, while also leading Mississippi with 24 Goldwater Scholarships, an honor that recognizes the next generation of great research scientists. Home to the Golden Eagles, USM competes in 17 Division I sports sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). For more information, visit


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