Wayne State University

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Wayne State University

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Nathan T. Garrett, nationally recognized CPA, attorney and author to deliver 2014 Richard H. Austin Lecture for Accounting Excellence

February 10, 2014

Wayne State University’s School of Business Administration will host its annual Richard H. Austin Lecture for Accounting Excellence at McGregor Memorial Conference Center on Friday, February 21, 2014.  The event honors the legacy of Richard Austin, Michigan’s first black CPA and the first African American in the U.S. to be elected to the statewide post of Secretary of State.

This year’s speaker is Nathan T. Garrett, a distinguished CPA and community leader from Durham, NC. Garrett’s lecture, titled “A Fruitful Life: Don’t Be Content with Low-Hanging Fruit,” is a dynamic retrospective of his life, community service and accomplishments, dating from the late 1950s – a time of dramatic change in our nation’s social order – up through the issues facing today’s young people.

After receiving an A.B. in psychology from Yale University in 1952 and serving in the U.S. military, Garrett settled in Detroit. Unable to secure professional employment due to racial discrimination, he pursued post-baccalaureate studies in accounting at Wayne State.

He eventually learned about Richard Austin and, after a brief meeting, successfully secured a position as a staff accountant with Austin’s firm, Austin, Washington and Davenport. Flourishing under Austin’s tutelage, Garrett went on to become the fifth African American CPA in the state of Michigan in 1957.

After returning to his native North Carolina, Garrett went on to a long and illustrious career as a CPA, attorney, author and speaker. He has served as president of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and the National Association of Minority CPA Firms, as well as chairman for the Minority Development Advisory Committee to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.  On the state level, he is a trustee emeritus of Duke University and past chairman of the board of trustees of Fayetteville State University. 

Notable among his many additional contributions is his work as founder of the North Carolina Fund tasked with breaking the cycle of poverty in his home state. Garrett currently works with minorities and women in the state to develop business skills to support entrepreneurial endeavors.

Event Registration

This event is open to the public and includes a complimentary lunch. However, space is limited and a reservation is required. To reserve your spot, please visit https://specialevents.wayne.edu/austin2014 or call 313-577-0300.

  • Contact: Steven Townsend
  • Voice: 313-577-0202
  • Email: smtownsend@wayne.edu
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