School News
Back to Listing

Michigan Ross To Recognize Distinguished Business Leaders For Outstanding Contributions To Accounting Education


The University of Michigan Ross School of Business has announced the 2020 recipients of its Honorary Paton Fellow Award. Ross alumni Robert M. Patterson, BBA/MAcc '96, and Jack S. Darville, MBA ‘70, will be recognized during a special induction ceremony on March 26, 2020.

The award is presented annually to individuals who are seen as “rising stars” within the accounting profession, for their lifetime contributions to industry, or for their service that has positively impacted Michigan Ross accounting education. In addition to naming the Honorary Paton Fellow Award recipients, Michigan undergraduate juniors and seniors with exemplary academic performance are named Paton Fellows. Senior fellows who go on to pursue a Master of Accounting degree from Ross, and maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA, will receive tuition assistance of at least $15,000.

“It is an honor to recognize Patterson and Darville as the Honorary Paton Fellow Awards recipients this year,” said Reuven Lehavy, faculty director of the Paton Accounting Center. “I extend sincere congratulations to them on their achievements from the Paton Accounting Center, the Paton Advisory Board, Michigan Ross, and myself. We look forward to celebrating their leadership within the accounting industry, their dedication to advancing accounting education, and their support of the next generation of accounting professionals in March.”


Patterson is a two-time Michigan Ross alum, earning his Bachelor of Business Administration and his Master of Accounting degree in 1996. He serves as chairman, president, and CEO of PolyOne Corp., the world’s premier provider of specialty and sustainable polymer materials, services, and solutions. PolyOne is an ACC Responsible Care® company and a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. Patterson joined PolyOne in 2008, as senior vice president and chief financial officer, and went on to become chief operating officer before rising to CEO. Prior to PolyOne, he worked at Novelis, Inc., an Atlanta-based international manufacturer of aluminum-rolled products, holding the position of vice president, controller, and chief accounting officer. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Patterson served on the Michigan Ross Alumni Board of Governors from 2010-2015. He is a strong supporter of accounting education and consults with Ross professors on current industry trends.


Darville received his MBA from U-M in 1970, where he was a Paton scholarship recipient. He spent 24 years as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and its predecessor firm Price Waterhouse, retiring as an audit partner in 2006. Darville has been a director for public corporations, and for numerous voluntary organizations in the social services, health, and education sectors. For example, he served as a board member for the Paton Advisory Board for Excellence in Accounting Excellence, including as Board chair. He has endowed several scholarships, including the Pamela Jane Bryant Scholarship in 2000 for women in the Master of Accounting program at Ross. Additionally, Darville is a graduate of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where he received his bachelor of commerce degree in 1968. He was inducted into the Alumni Gallery of McMaster University in 2005, and is a Fellow of the Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants.

About Michigan Ross

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today's dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business' mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society.

Ross is consistently ranked among the world's leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the BBA, MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening, Online, and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Management, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.