Michael M. Wild,
Diploma − Accountancy and
Financial Administration, 1935
Senior Partner, Berger & Wild
1989 Distinguished Alumnus
At 99, Michael Wild was the oldest graduated member of Walsh
College. He remained connected to his alma mater, joining the
90th Anniversary Homecoming celebration at the Troy campus on
Mr. Wild died on December 15, 2012. Below is an article and interview for our Fall 2012 Walsh Journal.
Wild grew up in Detroit and began his studies at Walsh Institute
in the fall of 1931. His first teacher was Mervyn Walsh, for bookkeeping.
Wild recalled a speech that Walsh gave to the 1931 graduating class:
“He said, ‘This profession of accounting, especially public accounting,
was not for a sissy.’ He said you have to roll up your sleeves and
burn the midnight oil. But he also said, ‘I promise you that there is a
great future in public accounting.’ And he was right.”
Wild worked in the stock brokerage business before entering public
accounting. He and Walsh discussed stocks during the Great
Depression. “Mervyn had blue chip stocks like U.S. Steel, and
advised hanging onto them during the Depression,” Wild said. “As
a result, he died a wealthy man.”
In 1934, Wild went to work as a junior accountant for Harvey H.
Berger. He became a partner under the firm name Berger & Wild.
Today, he goes to the office in Troy once a week to work on estate
tax planning for clients.
A founder of the alumni association, Wild kept the College
informed of his achievements over the years. In the 1972 alumni
newsletter, he reported: “My only claim to fame – a hole in one on
the 165-yard No. 4 hole at the Desert Inn Country Club, Las Vegas
International Gold Cup Tournament, Nov. 2, 1971.”
Wild is a charter member of the President’s Club, which recognizes
donors who give $1,000 or more each year to the College, and he
established the Berger & Wild Scholarship for accounting students.
At the 65th Commencement ceremony at Ford Auditorium, the
WCAA presented him with the 1989 Distinguished Alumnus Award
for community service and excelling in his career.