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Distinguished Alumni Award Presented Posthumously to Lee Yao

One of 11 2013 alumni award winners.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office, 5-2-2013

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato presented a 2013 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award posthumously to Lee J. Yao, formerly of Jefferson, La., last week.

Yao, who died Nov. 14, 2012, at the age of 54, was a professor emeritus at Loyola University in New Orleans. He is one of 11 Minnesota State Mankato 2013 alumni award winners honored at an April 26 ceremony hosted by the Minnesota State Mankato Alumni Association.

Alumni Achievement Awards go to graduates who have achieved high rank or honor in their professions and have had a major impact on their communities.

Yao received two degrees from Minnesota State Mankato – a bachelor’s degree in business in 1980 and a master of business administration in 1981, before completing a doctoral degree in Australia.

He spent 15 years in academia, with time at eight universities on four continents. Yao taught accounting in Singapore, Australia, and ended up as the Joseph A Butt, SJ Distinguished Professor in Accounting at Loyola University in New Orleans. Prior to teaching, Yao spent 20 years in the private sector working for major companies like Hewlett Packard, IBM and Arthur Anderson.

Yao was a world-renowned forensic accounting information systems expert. He had published widely on the subject, including five books, more than 40 articles in blind review journals and more than 90 papers presented at international conferences. He was appointed editor-in-chief of the prestigious “International Journal of Accounting and Information Management” in 2007. He was also the recipient of numerous teaching and awards.

Recently, Yao received two large, rare academic grants from the Chinese government to study investment strategies as well as investment education in the emerging Chinese marketplace. Unfortunately his recent death prevented him from completing this work.

In his spare time, Yao gave back to the community, including serving as a Major in the U.S. Civil Air Patrol.

Yao loved teaching, and he loved his students. “I want to touch on every young mind that comes through my courses and motivate each and every single one of them to be the most successful person in their own chosen profession,” he said.

Those who want more information about the April 26 awards event may go to or call (507) 389-3235.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,413 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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