Skip to main content

Investing in the Next Generation

CPA and Poole College alum Jim Hayne provides scholarship support to accounting students

By Caroline Barnhill

Most of the time, the term “peer pressure” is used in a negative context. But for James “Jim” Hayne ‘88, the example set by his colleagues, friends and fellow Poole College alumni – Mike Constantino and Christine Holmes – inspired him to give back to the next generation of NC State acounting students by endowing the James H. Hayne Scholarship. The endowment is designated to support one or more undergraduate students within the college’s Accounting and Internship Recruiting Program (AIR), in accordance with the established procedures for awarding need-based scholarships. 

“Mike and Christine have been great role models in showing what it means to give back to the next generation,” Hayne says. “Beyond that, I’m incredibly thankful for the college faculty who have been my friends and supporters over the years. By setting up this scholarship, I hope to not only make it easier for students who need financial assistance, but also encourage my peers – like Mike and Christine encouraged me – to not just stand on the sidelines, but to find meaningful ways to support the college.”

Hayne believes the story behind his decision to provide scholarship support started many, many years ago when he moved from Wisconsin to Raleigh and met Holmes at Sanderson High School. The two became friends and both went on to pursue accounting degrees at NC State – and later, both took positions at Ernst & Young. 

“Early in my career, I also met fellow Poole College alumnus Mike Constantino. Over the years, I watched these two individuals who I admire and respect provide scholarship support to Poole College of Management students, which made me want to give back myself,” Hayne says.

Hayne has had a long, successful career in the accounting world – but it wasn’t always an easy road getting there.

“In high school, I worked full time on the third shift to save money for college. I would wake up at 10 p.m., work from 11 at night until 7 in the morning and then head straight to school,” Hayne remembers. “Finances were such a struggle for me by the end of my collegiate career, so if I can help a student who is working hard to succeed in school but needs some financial help, I want to be able to support them however I can.”

After graduating from the College of Management, Hayne accepted the challenge set forth by former professor C.J. Skender to pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) exams – and became the third graduate from the NC State accounting program to pass all three. His drive to explore all his interests has allowed Hayne to have a full – and fun – career.

“I have bounced between working in public accounting and corporate accounting. I’ve worked in public accounting with a local firm that merged into a regional firm, left there as a shareholder to start my own accounting firm, and then started working in a CFO role on a fractional basis,” Hayne says. “Today, I serve as a fractional CFO for three companies – two in healthcare IT and a commercial construction company – and am also a full-time partner with a local CPA firm, Dodson, Shelton & Nelson.”  

His own career path has led him to encourage Poole College accounting students to explore whatever it is that interests them – and his commitment to students goes far beyond financial support. For years, he’s served on the Poole College Accounting Advisory Board and mentored and recruited accounting students.

“Whenever I talk to the students, I can share with them my perspective from working in a variety of roles – whether it is working for a local, regional or national CPA firm, or working in corporate accounting,” he says. “If you love gaming, there’s a slew of computer gaming companies right here in the Triangle that need accountants. I love soccer and have been able to add Major League Soccer players as clients. If you look, you can always find ways to blend your passions into your work.”