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Published March 30, 2023
Ronald “Ron” Peterson has been selected as the University of Wyoming College of Business’ 61st Distinguished Alumnus.
He was nominated for embracing the spirit of hard work, leadership and integrity. Peterson will be honored at the 72nd annual College of Business Recognition Dinner later in April.
After his 1958 graduation from Big Springs Rural High School in Big Springs, Neb., Peterson attended UW and earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting in May 1962. While in college, he served as the Associated Students of UW business manager and president of the Interfraternity Council, ultimately being recognized in “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.”
Following graduation, Peterson began his accounting career with Ernst & Ernst, now known as Ernst & Young. He later joined E.W. Gustafson, a certified public accountant (CPA) company in Scottsbluff, Neb., where he completed his CPA exam.
Later, he associated with Gauger & Diehl, a CPA firm in Peoria, Ill., becoming a member of the company’s manufacturing client audit team. The firm had a large hospital audit clientele before Medicare was signed into law in 1965. Auditing and consulting opportunities in the health care sector required a larger staff, and Peterson was part of that team that soon left to form its own consulting group.
Opportunities to assist hospitals in maximizing eligible Medicare reimbursement and a related need to develop and implement good financial management systems opened new doors for Peterson.
He later became a hospital chief financial officer, which led to several opportunities to serve in that capacity over the next 20 years. Peterson led teams to successfully transition to self-funded and self-administered workers’ compensation and group health plans.
Peterson later returned to public accounting, and he has been practicing the last 10 years in a small north Georgia town.
“Ron is a passionate UW alumnus who has annually advocated for prospective high school students to attend UW. He shares an inspiring UW story that has motivated many of them to enroll in his alma mater,” says Keener Fry, the former UW Alumni Association (UWAA) executive director. “Ron also has been an enthusiastic alumnus to bring UW graduates together in support of the UWAA Affinity Network Program.”
Peterson and his wife, Elaine, have been married for nearly 58 years, and they have a daughter and two grandchildren. They also had a son, who died six years ago.
To view a complete list of previous UW College of Business Distinguished Alumni Award winners, visit www.uwyo.edu/business/alumni/distinguished-alumni.html.