WSU Board of Governors member Bryan C. Barnhill II to deliver 2019 Richard H. Austin Lecture for Accounting Excellence

The Mike Ilitch School of Business will host its annual Richard H. Austin Lecture for Accounting Excellence at the Ilitch School on Monday, Sept. 9. The lecture is part of a daylong event the honors the legacy of Richard H. 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.

Student-focused workshops begin at 9 a.m. Lunch and networking take place at noon followed by the keynote starting at 1 p.m. Registration is limited, so RSVP here by Friday, Sept. 6.

Keynote lecture

This year’s Richard H. Austin Lecturer is Bryan C. Barnhill II. Barnhill was elected to Wayne State’s Board of Governors in November 2018 and also works in Ford Smart Mobility’s City Solutions Group, where he plays a critical role in shaping the creation of Ford’s urban eco-system for mobility innovation in Detroit. Previously, Barnhill served as chief talent officer in Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration. Barnhill was also the campaign manager for the “Duggan for Detroit” campaign, where he led the historic write-in campaign victory for Mayor Duggan.

Barnhill has a Bachelor’s Degree in Government from Harvard with additional coursework in corporate financial accounting from MIT. He has an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business with a concentration in finance and entrepreneurship. A proud Detroit native, Barnhill currently lives in Detroit with his wife and two children.


Beginning at 9 a.m., there will be a series of workshops designed to help students obtain and succeed in accounting careers. The workshops will be led by representatives from Chemical Bank, Merrill Lynch, UHY and others. Workshop topics include:

  • How to put your best foot forward with recruiters
  • What’s the shape of my career?
  • Meet and greet the firms
  • How to build my professional network


This event is open to all students, alumni and friends of the Mike Ilitch School of Business. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Please RSVP here by Friday, September 6.

Chemical Bank is the presenting sponsor for the 2019 Richard H. Austin Lecture for Accounting Excellence

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