Accounting Excellence Scholarship

Champlain's Accounting Excellence Scholarship Fund celebrates decades of teaching excellence by Champlain's distinguished Accounting faculty. Established in 2007, the annually awarded fund supports two Accounting students who demonstrate both academic merit and financial need.

This scholarship for Champlain Accounting students is funded primarily by alumni of the program, with additional support from faculty and staff. Recipients of the scholarship are selected by faculty members in the Stiller School of Business.

The seven members of the accounting faculty who are specifically celebrated by this scholarship provided a combined 200 years of dedicated teaching to Champlain College, along with many years of industry experience. Even though these familiar faces are no longer on campus, their legacy of dedicated service lives on through the scholarship fund, which allows many students to find the same joy in accounting they did. 

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Walt Luchini, CPA, graduated from Champlain in 1963 and joined its faculty in 1968 after serving in the U.S. Army and working at IBM. A teacher and mentor to hundreds of students, Luchini gained public accounting experience at Urbach Kahn & Werlin CPAs and ran a private practice for many years. He received many honors, including the Edward Phelps Lyman Professorship and the C. Bader Brouilette Alumni Award. 

Luchini served as President of the Faculty Senate, was a Division Chairman, and chaired the Curriculum Committee. He specialized in financial accounting at the intermediate and advanced levels and in preparing students for the financial accounting CPA exam.

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On the management and tax accounting side of the house, Champ Soncrant, CPA, CMA, started teaching at Champlain in 1971, and brought an enthusiasm and a contagious sense of humor to the classroom. Before coming to Champlain, he served as a cost accountant for the Global Rubber Company, and then ran his own tax practice and consulting firm.

For many years, Soncrant coordinated the highly successful Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, serving low-income and elderly Vermonters; he has been honored by the IRS for this work. At Champlain, he prepared students for the management accounting CPA exam and served as President of the Faculty Senate.

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Thane Butt, CPA, CFE, specialized in forensic accounting and auditing. Before joining the Accounting faculty at Champlain in 1982, Butt served as a controller for banks across New England. Her previous experience had been with the International Accounting firm Arthur Andersen — then one of the so-called 'Big Eight' — specializing in bank audits. In addition to her passion for accounting, Butt is passionate about reading, and served on the Champlain Community Book Committee for many years.

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Early in her professional life, Eadie Templin spent five years at Cuttington College—a small mission college in the interior of Liberia, West Africa—where she taught math and served as Registrar and Dean of Admissions. After working as a systems engineer with IBM in New York City, she came to Champlain in 1976. 

Templin served as Program Director for the Accounting major, taught several math and accounting courses, and specialized in governmental and nonprofit accounting and statistics. She chaired the Curriculum Committee, chaired the NEASC Accreditation Committee (twice), and chaired the Inaugural Ceremony Committee for two Champlain presidents. Templin was awarded with the Edward Phelps Lyman Professorship.

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The extremely important job of providing students with a solid foundation in both financial and managerial accounting was performed by Dave Mona, Mitch Thibault, and Nancy Wells, who taught both in the classroom and online. A testament to their good work is the fact that many business students transferred into the Accounting major after taking their classes.

Each of these talented teachers was with Champlain for more than 20 years. Mona coordinated the Math and Accounting Lab for many years; prior to working at Champlain, he was a cost accountant with General Electric. Thibault served his country in the U.S. Army before teaching at Vergennes Union High School and Champlain College. Wells served as President of the Faculty Senate and was the first Director of Champlain's Israel Program, bringing experience from her time as a staff member at Bentley College.

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