Fresno-based accounting firm Baker Peterson Franklin is building on its history of support of Fresno State with the establishment of a faculty research fellowship with the Craig School of Business. The firm committed to funding a $10,000 fellowship each summer for the next three years.

Dr. Lizhong Hao, assistant professor of accounting, has been named the first Baker Peterson Franklin Research Fellow. This summer Hao will study financial and capital market research using archival data from publicly traded companies. While Hao will be the first named research fellow, Baker Peterson Franklin’s past gifts have also supported summer research grants for Craig School accounting faculty members Dr. Shu Lin, Dr. Denise Patterson and Dr. John Osborn.

Dr. Robert Harper, dean of the Craig School, said research fellowships like this are an important tool to help recruit top faculty. “Our faculty are required to research and publish meaningful work in their fields of expertise. The opportunity to offer faculty research fellowships not only helps to support transformational research but also provides us with a critical tool to recruit new faculty of the highest caliber.”

The gift from Baker Peterson Franklin deepens their legacy of support of the University. The firm has given more than $300,000 to fund programs, scholarships, organizations and fellowships across campus.

“Baker Peterson Franklin has been incredibly supportive of Fresno State and the Craig School in particular,” Harper said. “Their staff has provided countless hours in support of our programs and in helping our students become accounting professionals.”

Additionally, members of the firm have been actively involved with the Fresno State Foundation, Bulldog Foundation, Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Ag One Foundation, Institute of Family Business and the Fresno State Alumni Association.

Kyle Stephenson, managing partner of the firm, said, “Baker Peterson Franklin supports Fresno State because we understand what this institution means to the community. Fresno State is vital to the economic engine and culture of the Central Valley.  The University is the primary source of accounting talent for our firm and clients.  Baker Peterson Franklin wants to help Fresno State connect to the community – the more community support Fresno State receives, the better they fulfill their educational mission, and we all benefit.”

Baker Peterson Franklin is a full-service accounting and consulting firm. Founded in 1917, Baker Peterson Franklin has grown to become one of the largest locally-owned accounting firms in the Central Valley.

The development of a partnership between the firm and the University is central to Baker Peterson Franklin’s philanthropic philosophy. “The culture is one of giving back to the community that has supported our firm for 98 years,” Stephenson said. “It’s our civic responsibility to give back to an institution that has bettered our personal lives and the lives of our families, friends and clients over many years.  Those of us at Baker Peterson Franklin have benefited through Fresno State from the standpoint of education, leadership skills, networking and connections in our community. Our firm tries to partner with Fresno State and give of our time and resources – it’s the right thing to do.”

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