The Columns

Accounting Students to Give Rockbridge Historical Society Talk Mar. 16

— by on March 12th, 2015

Two Washington and Lee University students who took accounting professor Stephan Fafatas’ History through Accounting spring term course will present their research at a public program sponsored by the Rockbridge Historical Society. The program will take place Mon., Mar. 16 at Hillel House. There will be a reception at 6:30 p.m., and the program will begin at 7:30 p.m.

As part of Fafatas’ course, students were asked to use financial records housed in W&L’s Special Collections to conduct historic research of local significance.

Bereket Mechale ’15, a senior accounting and business administration major, used the daybooks and accounting ledgers from Dold’s store, a landmark Lexington business that occupied the building located at the corner of Main and Washington streets. The general store’s records provided Mechale with information about the kinds of products that were available and in demand in Lexington during the early 1880s. This period coincides with the railroad’s arrival in Lexington and Mechale was able to see how access to more products changed customers’ buying habits.

Catherine Roach ’16 is a junior majoring in European history and accounting and business administration. She used documents in Leyburn Library’s Special Collections—including Washington College’s operational accounts, trustees’ reports and enrollment records as well as President Lee’s personal correspondence and newspaper advertisements intended to recruit new students and raise funds—to determine Lee’s direct impact on the college’s financial position.

Both students will present their findings, and Fafatas will make short remarks as will Tom Camden, head of Special Collections & Archives for Washington and Lee’s University Library.