Mario de Armas of PwC named School of Accounting Alumnus of the Year.

Some alumni return to campus for nostalgic reasons, to relive the “glory days,” to stay connected with friends or for other sentimental reasons.

Mario de Armas (BACC ’85) comes back to Florida International University (FIU) to gather brilliant young graduates for his firm, the Florida offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he serves as market managing partner.

“I remain active with the School of Accounting primarily because it serves as a huge source of high-quality employees,” Armas said. “We recruit as many students for our market from FIU as we do from any other university in the country.”

Mario de Armas and Ruth Ann McEwen

But don’t let de Armas fool you. He may claim he’s the one gaining from remaining close to FIU but the School of Accounting so appreciates his efforts that they named him their 2012 Alumnus of the Year.

“What Mario de Armas does for this school and our graduates matters a great deal,” said Ruth Ann McEwen, the school’s director “His energy level, his dedication to our programs and the enormous way he helps graduates get their start in a competitive profession make very important contributions. This award is just a token of our abundant gratitude.”

De Armas, who has served as the chair of the school’s advisory board since 2009, says he is very flattered to receive the recognition.

“From the first graduating classes, students from the School of Accounting have had great successes in the Big Four firms, in the profession and in private enterprise,” he said, his alumni pride showing through. “This strong reputation for producing outstanding graduates helped build the College of Business into what it is today.”

Surprise actually worked.

De Armas found out about being named the school’s Alumnus of the Year at a Meet and Greet for accounting alumni and students.

“I thought it was a regular event and then they announced my award,” he said. “It was a bit of an ambush. Many people from my firm who were there knew about the surprise but never let on.”

He added with his usual humor, “I was lucky to be wearing a tie that day.”



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