CMU longtime professor names School of Accounting
Philip Kintzele has given time, talent and treasure for more than 40 years
Philip Kintzele arrived in Mount Pleasant during a St. Patrick’s Day snowstorm in 1980. Kintzele remembers then-dean Leonard Plachta, who would go on to become Central Michigan University president, picking him up in his red 1977 Chevy Impala to take the young educator to his faculty interview.
More than four decades later, the School of Accounting at Central Michigan University has been named The Philip L. Kintzele School of Accounting. The naming recognizes Kintzele’s lifetime gift commitments of more than $2 million — the largest employee gift in CMU history — as well as his unwavering dedication to the university.
“Dr. Kintzele has given much of his life — along with significant financial support — to Central Michigan University students,” CMU President Bob Davies said. “He is a shining example of the kind of faculty we have here at CMU, and this recognition cements his selfless commitment to improving the lives and futures of CMU Chippewas.”
Kintzele, who retired with emeritus status in 2019, established The Philip Kintzele Accounting MBA Scholarship in 1986 to benefit accounting majors committed to completing CMU’s accelerated MBA accounting program following completion of their bachelor’s degree.
Naming the School of Accounting recognizes Kintzele’s financial contributions to the scholarship to date and his pledge of significant future commitments.
“I’m very thankful — I gave it all I had for 38 years,” Kintzele said.
Chris Moberg, CMU College of Business Administration dean, said Kintzele’s dedication to CMU and the school of accounting is significant and sets an incredible example for everyone on campus.
“Dr. Kintzele's dedication to others is an inspiration to all of us,” Moberg said. “He's a role model whose impact on students will continue indefinitely, in countless ways."
The making of a decades-long career
Kintzele, a car enthusiast, would never forget the make and model of Plachta’s car. But it wasn’t the car that left a lasting impression, it was the former president.
“Leonard was such a genuine person, and he really is the reason I’m here,” Kintzele said.
Kintzele obtained a bachelor’s degree, a Master of Business Administration and a Doctor of Business Administration from Indiana University Bloomington. He passed the CPA exam after receiving his doctorate in 1973, followed by his first teaching assignment at the University of Tennessee. In 1976, he joined the accounting faculty at the University of Cincinnati, where he taught for five years before being hired at CMU.
Kintzele taught thousands of students throughout his career, and also made his mark outside of the classroom. He served as chair of the accounting department for nearly 24 years over the course of two appointments and was the advisor of registered student groups Beta Alpha Psi and the Student Accounting Society.
He also led the way in the CMU School of Accounting becoming only the second school in the state to attain accounting accreditation from AACSB — the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. He sees it as one of his greatest professional achievements and has helped maintain the accreditation ever since.
But when asked about his students, this is where his greatest pride shines through.
“It makes me proud to see where some of my students have landed. Some are partners at CPA firms and some have been successful in the corporate world,” Kintzele said. ““I’m proud to have been a part of their educational experience.”
Paying it forward
Kintzele’s reason for giving to CMU is simple: he’s dedicated to paying it forward.
“As a student, I was able to get scholarships to help me get through college. I was so fortunate — I went and got all of these degrees and I had no debt,” Kintzele emotionally recalls.
Jennifer Cotter, CMU’s interim vice president for advancement, said Kintzele’s financial contributions have already changed lives and are positioned to help even more students.
“I know the students who have been impacted by Dr. Kintzele’s accounting MBA scholarship are forever grateful for his support — as he is for the support he received as a student — and I hope they’ll also pay it forward when they can. This is what we do at CMU,” Cotter said.
Kintzele’s financial support does not stop with accounting students. He also started endowments in his name that benefit CMU’s wrestling program as well as the university library.
Today, Kintzele often spends time in his faculty emeritus office in Grawn Hall. He’s often reminded by the chime of the Chevy Corvette clock on his office wall that it’s time to head out for a drive in one of his many cars — whether it's his 1974 Riviera or his 2023 Dodge Charger.
“I haven’t been on a plane in eight years,” he says with a smile.