Terry and Susan Lyons, loyal supporters of Texas Tech University, have made a significant gift to the School of Accounting in the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business. To honor their generosity, the school will be renamed the Terry Lyons School of Accounting.
Terry graduated from Rawls College in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in accounting and was named a distinguished alumnus of the Lyons School of Accounting in 2022. For more than 30 years, the Lyonses have been true friends of Texas Tech and Rawls College with their time and philanthropic support.
“Texas Tech and the School of Accounting provided the foundation for my career, giving me the education and building relationships that were crucial to my business and life success,” Terry said. “Contributing to Texas Tech and the School of Accounting to enhance the program feels like the perfect way to give back. It allows us to provide more student scholarships as well as retain and attract distinguished faculty. As a family of proud Red Raiders, we are thrilled about the positive impact this will have for future students and the accounting program.”
The gift from the Lyonses will provide comprehensive support to the Lyons School of Accounting by funding student scholarships, empowering faculty to conduct cutting-edge accounting research, expanding industry connections and supporting other areas of greatest need.
“We are grateful to Terry and the Lyons family for their investment in the future of accounting education within the Rawls College of Business. Their gift will elevate our ability to create leading-edge programs and prepare students to contribute to the evolution of the accounting field at a critical time in its history,” said Margaret L. Williams, dean of Rawls College. “We are honored by this gift, and we are proud that our School of Accounting will bear the name of such an outstanding individual. We look forward to a strong partnership with the Lyons family.”
The Lyons School of Accounting is home to more than 650 students and 27 faculty members with specializations throughout the accounting industry. The school offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in accounting, a Master of Science (MS) in accounting, an Accelerated BBA to MS in accounting program and a Doctorate in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting.
Underscoring the faculty and leadership's commitment to students as well as their academic rigor and accountability, the Lyons School of Accounting boasts the record of being the first separately accredited accounting school in Texas.
“The preeminent accounting firms and corporations in the world hire Lyons School of Accounting graduates because our students are known for both their technical expertise and tireless work ethic. But, studying accounting is expensive because becoming a CPA often requires a fifth year of college to attain,” said Kirsten A. Cook, director of the Lyons School of Accounting and Frank M. Burke Chair in Taxation. “The scholarships funded by this gift will allow countless students to extend their college education and achieve this career goal for years to come.”
Upon graduating from Texas Tech, Terry joined the Fort Worth office of Ernst & Young as an auditor and became a licensed CPA. During his time in public accounting, he worked with clients in the insurance, healthcare and hospitality industries. In 1998, Terry founded Academic HealthPlans (AHP). With his wide background in accounting, underwriting, marketing and sales, he propelled AHP to become the market leader in the student health insurance industry. Starting with only one employee and one university client, Terry grew the company over 150 employees, more than 400 universities and 500,000 insured student members with a prominent national presence.
In January 2020, Terry sold AHP to Risk Strategies, where he now serves as the national education practice leader. Risk Strategies is a leading national specialty insurance brokerage and risk management firm. Terry and Susan reside in Colleyville, Texas, and have four children – Paige, Holden, Jameson and Layton – two of whom are also Texas Tech alumni.