UMSL alumna Chris Leon is a recipient of the 2008 Elijah Watt Sells Award.

University of Missouri-St Louis graduate Chris Leon is a recipient of the 2008 Elijah Watt Sells award.  The prestigious national award is presented each year to ten candidates earning the cumulative highest score on the four-part Uniform Certified Public Accountants examination. Approximately 85,000 people took the exam in 2008.

Leon, of Oakville, Mo., is only the third person from Missouri to receive this award in the last 50 years. The award was created in 1923 to honor Elijah Watt Sells, a founding partner in the firm Haskins & Sells, a predecessor to Deloitte & Touche.

“I was surprised to receive the Elijah Watt Sells award,” he said. “I knew I did well on the exam, but it truly was a shock and an honor. It credit a lot of it to the great professors I had at UMSL. The faculty in the College of Business Administration are amazing and true leaders in their field.”

Leon earned a bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in finance and a bachelor’s degree in accounting, both in 2007. He currently works as a consultant for several area businesses. Prior to that, he worked as an auditor at Ernst & Young, LLP and held internships at Arch Coal, Inc. and Kennedy Capital Management.

Stephen Moehrle, associate professor of accounting at UMSL, was one of Leon’s many professors. He said this honor is truly remarkable.

“It is hard to comprehend the enormity of this achievement,” Moehrle said. “His performance on the Uniform CPA examination exceeded that of many tens of thousands of other candidates. It is a distinguished population that sits for the CPA Exam and Chris’ performance was in the Top 10!”

He added that “Chris always studied both the why and the how.  As a result, he mastered the Professional Accountancy literature from a theoretical as well as an applied viewpoint. “Chris has a very bright future in the CPA profession.”

Jen Hatton

Jen Hatton