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A million thanks.

It's not every day that a CPA donates $1 million to his alma mater--especially when that's Cal State Northridge. But it's precisely the school's less-than-Ivy-League cachet that made Harvey Bookstein feel his gift would be truly appreciated. The cofounder of Los Angeles accounting firm RBZ LLP says the money will help pay for top-quality professors and fund scholarships for accounting students.

The only child of two tax preparers who arrived in California with "$100 and an old car," Bookstein began helping out in the family firm at the age of seven. "I was the class nerd and hated high school," he says, "but my parents insisted I get the college degree and CPA certification they always regretted not having. I'm very grateful to Northridge for my opportunity and my career."

Today Bookstein is a "therapeutic accountant" who specializes in financial issues involving children, divorce and passing down family businesses from one generation to the next. "I try to get sons to respect their fathers' years of knowledge and fathers to respect sons' technology know-how," he says. "Together they're much more successful than they would be apart."

About his seven-figure gift--the largest in Northridge history--Bookstein says, "I'm not wealthy, but I've certainly made more money than I ever thought I would and I want to enjoy the fruits of my efforts while I'm still alive."
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Title Annotation:NEWS WIRE
Author:Rosen, Cheryl
Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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