University News

Accountancy Alumnus Issues Half-Million Dollar Challenge

October 14, 2016

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MACOMB, IL — To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Western Illinois University College of Business and Technology, 1977 accountancy graduate Sam Oliva has pledged to match up to $500,000 in contributions to the WIU Department of Accountancy.

Oliva is a certified public accountant and managing partner at ECS Financial Services, Inc. He is also the founder and CEO of Beacon Funding Corporation, a Northbrook (IL) equipment leasing company. He has worked at ECS Financial since 1978 and has served as the CEO of Beacon since 1990. Oliva has also served as a managing broker for Cornerstone Realty in Northbrook for 30 years and is the president of Liventus Design, an e-commerce website development and consulting firm. Oliva, who is also a certified management accountant (CMA) and licensed real estate broker, is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Illinois CPA Society, the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), the National Association of Realtors and the Illinois Realtors Association.

"Sam has been a tremendous friend and benefactor for the Department of Accountancy, and is the model of alumni support," said Brad Bainter, vice president for advancement and public services and executive officer of the WIU Foundation. "I appreciate Sam's challenge, and I will look forward to announcing its fulfillment when that day arrives."

Oliva has received the Department of Accountancy Outstanding Alumni Award (2003), as well as the CBT Distinguished Alumni Award from both the college and from WIU (2008) and the WIU Alumni Achievement Award (1989). While at WIU, Oliva founded and served as the first president of the WIU Student Accounting Society. He is a charter member of the President's National Advisory Board at Western and a member of the WIU College of Business and Technology Advisory Board.

In addition to this recent pledge, Oliva had previously established the Samuel N. Oliva Endowment and the income from this fund supports annual scholarships for Western's accountancy department. During WIU's most recent capital campaign, Oliva contributed $300,000 by increasing the Samuel N. Oliva Endowment to $500,000. In addition, he provides funding for other scholarships at WIU.

For more information on giving opportunities, contact Bainter at (309) 298-1861. To donate to the Oliva Accountancy Challenge, visit Click on "General Gift to WIU" and then "Proceed to Gift Form." From that form at, under "Designation," click on the Sam Oliva Accountancy Challenge.

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