Arthur Andersen LLP - Chapman Legacy Society
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Gifts Established:

  • James D. Miller and L. Phillip Snyder Faculty Fellowship in Accounting | Est. 1998
brick engraved with name Arthur Andersen LLP

Arthur Andersen LLP

Some graduates of The University of Tulsa play a major role in their chosen career fields. Others establish their legacy through generous contributions to their alma mater. James D. Miller (BS ’66, Accounting) and L. Phillip Synder (BS ’62, Accounting) have been able to do both. Each has distinguished himself as an industry leader at world renowned accounting firm Arthur Andersen while also making significant financial gifts to TU over the years.

James D. “Jim” Miller, CPA, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1944. He grew up in Tulsa, where he graduated from Edison Preparatory School before attending TU. In 1966, he graduated from TU with a degree in accounting. His wife, Judy Yates Miller (BS ’67, Home Economics), is also a proud TU graduate. She later earned her degree in nursing and worked for many years as a nurse in Tulsa. The Millers are the parents of two grown daughters.

Jim had a successful and fulfilling accounting career at Arthur Andersen, eventually serving as managing partner of the firm’s thriving Tulsa office before retiring in 2000. He has devoted much of his time and talent to benefit TU over the years, at one point serving as President of the TU Alumni Association. In 2002, he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of TU in recognition of his extraordinary career accomplishments. He was also recognized as an Outstanding Alumnus by the Collins College of Business.

Jim and Judy have made several gifts to support a wide array of TU programs, including the Collins College of Business, the TURC program, KWGS, TU Uncorked, and several TU Athletics initiatives.

L. Phillip “Phil” Synder was born in 1939. From his first experience at TU as an accounting student, Phil embarked upon what would become a particularly meaningful lifelong relationship with the school. Synder excelled academically, and he was active on campus, both as a member of Pi Kappa Alpha and as an outstanding player on the golf team. Phil met his wife of 55 years, Helen Lonsdale “Lonnie” Synder, early in his career, when they were both living and working in San Francisco, California. The couple married in 1967 in Lonnie’s hometown of Hartford, Connecticut. The Synders made their home in Tulsa, where Phil had a remarkable career in the Tulsa office of Arthur Andersen. The couple raised four daughters. Lonnie passed away in 2022.

Phil and Lonnie were longtime supporters of many areas within TU, making substantial contributions to the Golden Hurricane Champions Fund, the Collins College of Business, and other academic programs over the years. Phil was a lifetime member of the TU Lettermen’s Association (now the TU Letterwinners Association), thanks to his exceptional performance in golf, and he consistently supported TU athletics. For many years, he was a football and basketball season ticket holder. He also contributed to ’Cane Crawl, the annual TU-themed pub crawl, and TU Uncorked, the annual Tulsa wine festival. These important fundraisers benefit the TU Alumni Association Scholarship Fund.

In 1998, Jim and Phil established the Arthur Andersen Fund for Accounting, which has been renamed the James D. Miller and L. Phillip Snyder Faculty Fellowship in Accounting to recognize the role these generous men played as the principal donors to the original fund. Jim and Phil have left an indelible legacy through their work at Arthur Andersen and through their commitment to TU.