Accounting giant Ernst and Young LLP announced a pledge of $1.1 million to the Wisconsin School of Business Thursday, a gift the company believes will have a significant return on investment.

David Gay, a partner at E&Y Milwaukee, said the company is on campus annually to both recruit accounting students and those of other disciplines. He said E&Y chose the business school mainly because it believes in the students there.

Gay, who helped spearhead the donation, is a graduate of UW.

“My fellow partners and myself, we believe in this institution,” Gay said. “We had a lot of great experiences on campus and essentially we’re happy to be able to share back to the university that contributed to our own personal success.”

A statement from the business school said the majority of the donation, $850,000, will go toward the school’s Global Mindset Leaders Program, which aims to educate students on cultural diversity in business. The program also provides scholarships and outreach to minority students, the statement said.

Gay said this is another reason E&Y wanted to give back to the university, as the program aligns with the company’s mission to “build a better working world.”

The statement said the remainder of the money will go toward other programs in the accounting department.