University grieves loss of Business professor

East Carolina University accounting assistant professor Dr. Rebecca Fay died unexpectedly Monday, Jan. 2 after being involved in a car accident in Roanoke, Virginia.

Fay’s husband, Patrick Fay, and their two young children sustained minor injuries in the accident according to a post on his Facebook page. Patrick Fay is the marketing and communications manager for ECU’s enrollment services.

Dr. Stan Eakins, dean of East Carolina University’s College of Business, described Fay as “one of the stars of the college.”

“She had a tremendous academic future ahead of her,” said Eakins. “She was extremely liked by faculty and students, and a future leader of this college.”



Fay’s brief but prolific career at ECU does include the hallmarks of a rising star. She came to ECU in 2011, the same year she received her doctorate in business from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She was a licensed certified public accountant (CPA), and before joining ECU, she worked as an audit manager for Cherry Bekaert, an accounting firm headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Liberty University.

Fay’s primary research interests focused on enhancing the quality of audits and accounting education. She received the College of Business’ Scholar-Teacher Award in 2015 for the outstanding integration of research in the classroom. Her work has been featured on the cover of the Journal of Accountancy and has been published in Issues in Accounting Education, the CPA Journal, Managerial Auditing Journal, Current Issues in Auditing, and Research in Accounting Regulation.

In 2016, Fay received the Innovation in Auditing and Assurance Education Award from the American Accounting Association.

Fay was also engaged with the students. She recently served as the president of Beta Gamma Sigma, an honor society for business students, from 2013-2015 and was also the faculty advisor for Beta Alpha Psi in 2015.

“Dr. Fay was very talented and dedicated to her work,” said Dr. John Reisch, professor and chair for the College of Business’ Department of Accounting. “She was willing to work with students outside of the classroom to help promote their intellectual curiosity. Her presence will be sorely missed.”

In addition to her research on auditing, Fay was the lead author of “Incorporating International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) into Intermediate Accounting,” a textbook supplement developed by a team of authors from Virginia Tech that has been implemented in classrooms across the country. She has provided IFRS training seminars to accountants and professors, and has contributed IFRS questions to the CPA exam.

The family will receive friends 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 in the Pate Chapel of Thomas Road Baptist Church, 1 Mountain View Road, Lynchburg, VA 24502. A funeral service will be held immediately following in the Pate Chapel. Interment will follow in Virginia Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may take the form of contributions to Ronald McDonald House, 529 Moye Blvd., Greenville, NC 27834.

Heritage Funeral Service and Crematory, (434) 239-2405, is assisting the family.


–by Michael Rudd