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UNG Business School Classroom Named in Honor of Rushton Founder

December 16, 2021

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (Dec. 16, 2021) — A college classroom will soon bear the name of Rushton founder Barclay Rushton upon completion next year of the Cottrell Center for Business, Technology & Innovation. The new center is under construction on the Dahlonega campus of the University of North Georgia (UNG). 

Dr. Mary Gowan, UNG’s Business School dean, announced the classroom naming recently at a celebration of the Rushton accounting firm’s 40th anniversary in Gainesville. The special honor will create a lasting recognition of Barclay Rushton, who started his company in 1981 and grew it into one of the region’s largest accounting and business consulting firms. 

Dr. Gowan, who attended the October celebration event with Dr. Ellen Best, the Cottrell Center’s Department Head and Associate Professor, said Rushton’s generous donation will go toward programming needs at the school.

“We thought this would be a great way to show Barclay how much he means to the firm and to all of us individually,” said Chris Hollifield, Rushton managing partner. “It’s a fitting honor, especially considering Barclay’s support of the University of North Georgia over the years.”

Throughout the history of the firm, Rushton has hired numerous UNG students and interns and helped start their careers in accounting and finance. Currently, the firm has 18 University of North Georgia alumni on staff. This year, Rushton has six interns from UNG. 

“Rushton has been an instrumental partner in growing the accounting program at UNG into what it is today,” said Dr. Ellen Best, UNG Accounting & Law department head. “Rushton has hired UNG students for decades and was one of the first firms to come and recruit on campus.

“The firm also was a founding sponsor of our Nu Gamma Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, the honors organization for financial information students and professionals, and has been a continuous Gold-level sponsor of the chapter and the department ever since,” she said. “Rushton is a true partner in educating UNG accounting students both inside and outside the classroom, and we look forward to continuing this partnership in the future.”

The Rushton firm provides businesses throughout North Georgia with a wide variety of services including accounting, auditing, tax planning and return preparation (federal, state, multi-state, and international), business consulting, payroll services, business valuation, and wealth management. In addition to general business operations, Rushton offers financial expertise in a number of specific industry fields such as construction, agribusiness, government, healthcare, nonprofit organizations, professional services, manufacturing and distribution. For more information, call 770-287-7800 or visit