DR. WILBUR K. PIERPONT, Professor of Accounting and formerly Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of the University, will retire from active faculty status on August 31, 1980.
A native of Michigan, Dr. Pierpont earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Michigan University in 1934 and a Master of Business Administration degree from The University of Michigan in 1938. In 1941, he held a Brookings Institution Fellowship in Washington, D.C., and returned to The University of Michigan in 1942 to receive the Doctor of Philosophy degree. In 1958, his alma mater, Central Michigan University, conferred on him the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws and, in 1977, Hope College conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters, in recognition of his support and encouragement to private colleges and universities.
After serving in the Navy during World War II, Professor Pierpont was appointed an Assistant Professor in the School of Business Administration. During the years 1947 through 1950, he was Controller of the University, and in 1951 was named Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, a position, which he held for twenty-six years until returning to the School of Business Administration as Professor of Accounting in 1977.
During the years Dr. Pierpont was the financial vice-president of the University, the University experienced its most extensive period of growth in student enrollment and staff, in financial resources, and in the growth of its campus facilities. The North Campus of the University was developed during his tenure in office and major expansion programs were carried out in the Medical Center, the Central campus, and other campus areas. He was a major participant in the negotiations leading to the creation and development of the Flint and Dearborn campuses.
In the post World War II years, Dr. Pierpont was a member of a joint University-Government Committee which established the financial structure for the financing of University research by the Federal government. During the rapid expansion of universities in the 1950's, he became nationally known as a leader in the development of financial policies and organizational structures to respond to this growth. In 1962, Dr. Pierpont was elected the first President of the National Association of College and University Business Officers; and in 1969, he was one of the original Trustees of The Common Fund for Nonprofit Organizations, a nationwide fund for university investments. He has held various positions in the American Council on Education and has served as advisor and consultant on University administration and financial affairs to the Rockefeller Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, and to many universities and state educational commissions. He has been a Trustee of the Kresge Foundation since 1958, a Trustee of the College Retirement Equities Fund also since 1958, and is currently a director of several corporations.
The Regents of The University of Michigan wishing to recognize the many accomplishments of this distinguished administrator and educator and his long years of dedicated service to The University of Michigan now do name him Professor Emeritus of Accounting and Vice-President Emeritus of the University.
Regents’ Proceedings, June 1980, page 6656
Dr. Wilbur K. Pierpont, a non-engineer, is Vice President of the University in charge of business and finance. He climbed from a candidate for a Masters degree in Business Administration to this
important position in only fifteen years.
A native "Michigander," Dr. Pierpont
spent his first twelve years on a farm at
Winn, Michigan. Then his family moved
to Mt. Pleasant where he graduated from
high school. In 1934 he graduated from
Central State Teachers College with an
After two years of teaching high school
mathematics and coaching basketball at
Belding, Michigan, Mr. Pierpont decided
to come to the University of Michigan for
graduate work. By 1942 he had earned a
Master's degree in Business Administration and a Doctor's degree in Philosophy.
World War II found him with the
Army, Navy, and O.P.A. He worked as
price analyst in jobs for the O.P.A. and
the War Department. He then served in
the Fiscal Department of the Bureau of
Ordnance as a Navy Lieutenant.
In 1946, Dr. Pierpont returned to the
University as Assistant Professor of Accounting and as Assistant to the Vice
President of the University. A year later
he was promoted to Controller of the University. He was appointed to his present
position in 1951.
Dr. Pierpont is a member of several
professional business societies, and of the
honorary societies Phi Kappa Phi, and
Beta Gamma Sigma.
The Michigan Technic, October 1953, page 17