Shirley A. Edwards, of Sandy Spring, Md., will receive the Pamplin College of Business 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award during the college’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 12, 8:30 a.m., at Cassell Coliseum. The college created the award in 1990 to honor alumni for outstanding career accomplishments and contributions to the college.

Edwards earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1982. She is an audit and advisory services partner at Ernst & Young. Based in McLean, Va., she serves as the firm’s worldwide coordinating partner for clients such as Hilton Worldwide Inc. and Toll Brothers. She also serves on the firm’s Global Advisory Council. She is a certified public accountant in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

She was formerly the mid-Atlantic assurance managing partner for Ernst & Young, overseeing its audit practice, including financial results, client service, and personnel matters. She has served on several firm-wide task forces and committees, including task forces on improving execution of the firm’s strategic plan and on gender equity.

Edwards formerly worked at the accounting firm Arthur Andersen for nearly 20 years before joining Ernst & Young. She served on the professional staff of the Treadway Commission, a private-sector initiative aimed at improving enterprise risk management, internal control, and fraud deterrence. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and symposiums on both technical accounting and auditing matters and gender initiatives including mentoring, networking and career advancement of women.

At Virginia Tech, Edwards is a member of the Pamplin Advisory Council and the accounting department’s advisory board and spoke to students, faculty, and staff as a Wachovia Distinguished Speaker in October 2007.

An active volunteer in metro Washington, D.C., organizations, Edwards serves as treasurer and board member of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital and as board member of the American Red Cross of the Nation’s Capital. She is a past chair for Leadership Greater Washington.

Learn more about the Pamplin College of Business Commencement.