Coles Alumnus Brian Pendley Honored at Distinguished Alumni Awards

 Brian Pendley
Accounting Alumnus Brian Pendley

KENNESAW, Ga. (Oct 10, 2018) — Michael J. Coles College of Business alumnus Brian Pendley was one of three prominent Kennesaw State University alumni recognized during the 27th Annual Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner, hosted by the Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving on Oct. 5 at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel and Convention Center. The event, sponsored by Nationwide, was held in conjunction with Kennesaw State’s 2018 Homecoming week.

Pendley obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting with summa cum laude honors from KSU in 1994. He was vice president and then president of the Kennesaw State accounting club (now Beta Alpha Psi), along with treasurer of the Golden Key International Honour Society. Pendley stays connected to his alma mater and the Coles College of Business through the KSU School of Accountancy. He has been associated with the school’s advisory board for 18 years and presently is serving as immediate past chairman.

Outside of his financial support of nearly 15 years, Pendley has helped the School of Accountancy by securing grants from the Ernst & Young Foundation and being on its strategic planning committee. He has worked at Ernst & Young LLP for more than 24 years, currently as a partner in its assurance practice while also fulfilling the role of campus recruiting coordinator to Kennesaw State. In his position at EY, he serves clients in the services, life science, media and entertainment, distribution and diversified industrial products sectors. Pendley was on the Media Financial Management Association Board of Directors and later a member of its advisory committee. He lives in Acworth with his wife Dawn, also a KSU graduate, and their three children. Pendley is very active in his local community.  

Brian Pendley Distinguished AlumniBrian Pendley (center) with School of Accountancy Director Steve Smalt and Coles College Dean Kathy Schwaig

“Since graduating from KSU in 1994, I wanted to find a way to stay connected and was fortunate early in my career to be given that opportunity through our firm, EY, by assisting in our recruiting efforts on campus, which have increased meaningfully in recent years,” Pendley said. “I have enjoyed maintaining and building relationships with many of the great professors in the School of Accountancy, the College of Business, the development team and others. While my goal in this service and through our financial giving was not to receive special recognition, I am very honored and humbled to receive this award and proud to be counted among the fast-growing alumni of KSU.”

Pendley accepted the Distinguished Alumni Award from Kathy S. Schwaig, dean of the Coles College of Business. Two other alumni, Matt Finn ’07 and Daryle Higginbotham ’89 also received awards that night.

The Distinguished Alumni Award program was established in 1992 to honor KSU’s most accomplished graduates on an annual basis. A distinguished alumnus/alumna is a person who exemplifies the ideals and mission of the University; demonstrates distinguished achievement in his/her chosen field at a local, regional and/or national level; and embodies the spirit of Kennesaw State’s commitment to community engagement through service, University involvement or philanthropic endeavors.

Master of ceremonies for the event was Ashlie Wilson Pendley ’96, ’15, a member of the Kennesaw State Alumni Association board of directors and a Distinguished Alumni Award winner herself in 2008. Also speaking during the ceremony were Pamela Whitten, president of the University; Jim Dunn, interim chief executive officer of the KSU Foundation and interim vice president for advancement, alumni and development; and Nathan Humphrey, president of the KSU Alumni Association.

Brian Pendley
Brian Pendley (left) with Kennesaw State President Pamela Whitten and other Distinguished Alumni winners

"It was an incredible night, and true privilege to recognize these outstanding alumni for the significant impact they are having in their professional careers, and more importantly in their communities,” Humphrey said. “They are a fantastic representation of what it means to be KSU alumni.”

– Steve Ruthsatz

Photos by Lauren Kress