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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 3, 2016
Canadian Excellence

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Future Students - International

Laurier business graduates continue to achieve top marks in accounting exams

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Dec 10/08| For Immediate Release


Megan Harris, Manager, Marketing and Communications
Laurier School of Business and Economics
519-884-0710 ext. 2948 or


Kevin Crowley
Associate Director
News & Editorial Services
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or

WATERLOO – Laurier business graduates have again excelled in professional accountancy exams, earning the highest mark in Canada on the Certified Management Accounting (CMA) case examination for the second year in a row and capturing the Ontario gold medal on the Canadian Chartered Accountants’ Uniform Evaluation (UFE).

Elias Zeekeh, a recent graduate of Laurier’s combined MBA/CMA program, earned 99 percent on the 2008 CMA exam, the highest mark in Canada. Last year’s top mark went to Laurier MBA/CMA graduate Debra Gillies, who also scored 99 percent. Laurier graduates of the MBA / CMA program have achieved a 100 percent pass rate on both the 2007 and 2008 CMA exams.

“The preparation that Laurier provided had a clear strategic direction, was well thought out, and very methodical,” said Zeekeh, financial manager at Ryder Transportation and Logistics. “I wouldn't have done so well without the preparation that the school provided. My education at Laurier has broadened my scope and made me a better financial advisor for my company.”
Anna Nowak, a 2007 graduate of Laurier’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program, won the Ontario gold medal for the highest mark in the province on the 2008 Canadian Chartered Accountants’ UFE exam.

Nowak, who now works with Deloitte & Touche in Kitchener, Ontario, is the seventh Laurier graduate to earn the UFE Ontario gold medal since 1993. Since that time, Laurier's School of Business & Economics accounting graduates have achieved gold more often than any other Canadian university at both the national and provincial level on the UFE exam. Written once a year, the UFE is an internationally recognized examination that qualifies chartered accountants to practice public accounting. The exam is written by several thousand accounting graduates across Canada and over 1,000 in Ontario. In 2006/2007, Laurier became the first university to ever hold the CA and CMA highest marks in the country in one year.

“We’re very proud of our graduates,” said Dr. Bruce McConomy, director of the CA / Laurier Centre for the Advancement of Accounting Research and Education. “The quality of our accounting programs is reflected by our 2007 and 2008 CMA gold medalists and the fact that in the past 20 years our graduates have won more UFE gold medals for the best mark in Canada than any other Canadian university. We’ve also received the Ontario gold medal seven times since 1993, and in 2008 we had more successful writers of the UFE than any other university in Ontario.”

Laurier’s former UFE medal winners have all pursued successful careers: Dennis Kavelman, BBA ’93, is chief operating officer at Research In Motion (RIM); Agnes Dykstra, BBA ’97, is senior manager, audit at PricewaterhouseCoopers; Sarah Hadley, BBA '01, is manager of corporate taxation at RIM; and Jennifer Hayton, BBA ’05, is an accountant with KPMG.

Three other Laurier graduates also achieved standing on the 2008 National UFE Honour Roll: Kelly McFeeters, BBA ’07, now working with Deloitte & Touche, Kitchener; Martha Sutton, BBA ’07, is working with Deloitte & Touche, Toronto; and Alexander Wiens, BBA ‘07, is working with Deloitte & Touche, Windsor.

“Laurier’s performance has outdone that of the other Ontario business schools,” said Ginny Dybenko, dean of the Laurier School of Business & Economics. “Our programs are Ontario’s best-kept secret – the jewel of academia – and the proof is demonstrated in our outstanding performance across the board.”


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