Terry Murphy Receives AICPA Public Service Award

May 17, 2015

Terry MurphyWashington, D.C. (May 17, 2015) – The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has recognized Terry Murphy, CPA, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, with its 2014 Public Service Award for Individuals. The annual award honors members of the AICPA who have made significant contributions to their communities. He received the award at the spring meeting of the Institute’s governing Council in Washington, D.C.

“The many strong candidates for the Public Service Award make it difficult to provide our outside judges with a short list of the people most deserving of this honor. We are fortunate that so many CPAs dedicate significant amounts of their time to their communities,” said James Curry, CPA, chair of the AICPA’s awards committee, who presented the award. “While we salute the achievements of all of our members, the judges determined that Terry’s work as a father figure for at-risk children puts him on top.”

One of the distinguishing features of Murphy’s career is his devotion to public service. Twenty three years ago, when he turned 50, he made the decision to retire from Arthur Anderson to devote his time to helping at-risk-youth in urban elementary schools. Since 1993, Murphy has spent three to five days per week volunteering at Gompers Elementary and Campbell Elementary, both in Detroit, and the Henry School in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Since his retirement, Murphy has donated over 30,000 hours of his time mentoring troubled students. His work with the students includes reading, chaperoning, resolving conflicts, assisting teachers, tutoring, and most importantly, being there to encourage the kids. At one point, the Henry School needed a basketball coach, so Murphy stepped in to prevent the program from being eliminated.

Understanding the need for young people to read, he worked with the Michigan Association of CPAs (MICPA) to collect and distribute books. Their efforts have put over 60,000 books into the hands of children. In 2014, he received the MICPA’s public service award.

In addition to volunteering in the schools, he serves as a board member for Michigan’s Children and previously served as its chair. For the last two years, he has been a board member at the HighScope Education Research Foundation. Both organizations seek to influence public policy in the best interest of children.

Harold J. Harris, a parent of two children at Gompers Elementary, wrote this in a letter to the MICPA about Murphy: “You know, I am a better father, husband and man because of his life and work at Gompers. I’ve learned what it really means to volunteer by watching him.”

Murphy earned a Bachelor’s of Science in accounting from the University of Detroit. He resides with his wife in Ann Arbor.

A list of previous winners can be found on the AICPA’s Member Awards page.