A Legacy of Success

Few professors have had the impact Martha Merritt, CPA, has had on the accounting profession in the state of Georgia. For more than 30 years, Merritt, assistant professor of accounting, has taught students the ins and outs of debits and credits as well as how to be a truly reputable professional in their industry.

“As a young child, I played school for fun,” said Merritt. “I would come home from school and teach my imaginary students using my favorite toy – a two sided chalkboard.”

In college, Merritt focused on education – believing her future would be in teaching – and received both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Teaching in Business Education. However, even in her elective courses, she focused on accounting.

Later, she went back to school to complete a Master of Accountancy – determined to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Following graduation, she secured a position with Arthur Andersen & Company and while at Arthur Andersen, passed the CPA exam. Although she enjoyed auditing, she missed teaching. She joined then North Georgia College in 1988.

Over the past 31 years, much of her work was in the classroom. However, it has not gone unnoticed. Alumni, students, industry professionals and her peers within the Mike Cottrell College of Business applaud her work. Since 2000, Merritt has received no less than 10 awards for her service to both the Education Foundation of the Georgia Society of CPAs and the University of North Georgia including the coveted 2016 Howard Herman Distinguished Service Award from the Educational Foundation of the Georgia Society of CPAs. Her leadership as faculty advisor in the accounting and finance society on campus, Beta Alpha Psi, has also led to notoriety as UNG’s chapter recently placed second in international competition.

“Martha is amazingly committed to the accounting profession and accounting education in the state of Georgia,” said Dr. Anne Duke, department head of accounting and law at UNG. “She has an outstanding attitude and is undaunted by obstacles. She is completely devoted and passionate about transforming students into prepared accounting professionals.”

Clay Pilgrim, a former student and now partner at Rushton & Company agrees. “Mrs. Merritt has had a positive influence and direct impact on almost every accounting firm in north Georgia and throughout the state,” said Pilgrim. “She truly cares about her students and she is selfless in her dedication to the field of accounting and the education of UNG accounting students.”

We thank Martha for her continued service in the Mike Cottrell College of Business and applaud her amazing career and impact on the lives of accounting alumni and students of the University of North Georgia.