Accountancy student’s business savvy and leadership skills earn him 2023 Remington R. Williams Award

Ethan Joly, first on the right, with friends during a fundraiser for the Multiple Scelrosis Institute at the University of Missouri Health Care.

Ethan Joly, first on the right, with friends during an fundraiser for Rockin' Against Multiple Scelrosis (RAMS), a student-run organization that raises money for the MS Institute at the University of Missouri Health Care. Joly, a senior at the Trulaske College of Business, earned a 2023 Remington R. Williams Award for his work with RAMS. 

There was never any question who Jamie McDonald would nominate for the inaugural class of student leaders selected for the 2023 Remington R. Williams Award: Ethan Joly, a senior at the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business.

Joly was director of Rockin’ Against Multiple Sclerosis (RAMS), a student-run organization that raised more than $200,000, a record-breaking amount, in the 2022-23 academic year for the Multiple Sclerosis Institute at the University of Missouri Health Care.

McDonald, advisor for RAMS, found 21-year-old Joly to be an exceptional leader.

“Ethan represents the best of what Mizzou has to offer this world,” she said. “What sets him apart is his infectious enthusiasm. He doesn’t just have compassion, he spreads compassion.”

The University of Missouri Board of Curators established the award in 2022 to honor Remington R. Williams, who served as student representative to the board from 2020 until his death in June 2022. The winners -- like Joly, who is also president of the MU club soccer team and was campus involvement chair for the Delta Tau Delta fraternity -- reflect the extracurricular involvement and leadership qualities Williams embodied during his time as student representative.

Ethan Joly
Ethan Joly

This year, seven University of Missouri System students were selected. Recipients received $1,000 and a student-designed leadership medal to wear at commencement. Joly, who grew up in St. Louis, was among the four recipients from MU.

“Getting involved has made a big difference in my college experience,” he said. “Being a part of RAMS and club soccer offered me the opportunity to meet people outside my fraternity and classes.”

Joly also credits his four-week trip to Prague through Trulaske Abroad for expanding his horizons and offering him an international cultural experience. He is currently on track to graduate in August 2024 from the college’s 150-hour integrated accountancy program, in which students receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting in five years.

Joly said the School of Accountancy constantly reminds its students how important it is to have integrity and to make decisions based on sound ethics and morals – characteristics he has taken to heart. His courses have also taught him to consider situations from many points of view, strengthening the critical thinking skills he applied to his work with RAMS. Finally, many of his courses have required participation in team projects, another skill that came in handy for Joly while working with RAMS.

“Every accounting class that I have taken has had a group project where it was critical to have teamwork skills,” he said. “I am also finding out that the further into grad school I get, the more I am assigned case studies and team projects. I think these group projects are great as they emulate the real work world.”

It was Joly’s business savvy and leadership skills with RAMS that earned him McDonald’s respect – and her nomination for the Remington award. RAMS creates opportunities for students through educational and philanthropic events focused on multiple sclerosis. Joly led the group to a record-breaking year through a number of fundraisers, including “Rock It” lip sync contest, Runnin’ for MS 5K run, dodgeball tournament, gala, trivia night, corn hole tournament, 3-on-3 tournament and a banner competition.

McDonald said Joly transformed RAMS by applying his accounting skills through new spreadsheets and up-to-date calculations that took the organization to a whole new level.

“I’ve never met someone who could make people excited about programs, formulas and numbers, but Ethan did,” she said. “He is an amazing student who is committed to service, teaching and the betterment of all those around him. I have no idea what he will be doing after he finishes up at Mizzou, but it will be exceptional.”