David and Adrienne Yarnold: Work Hard and Do the Right Thing


SF State holds a special place in Adrienne (B.S., ’83) and David Yarnold’s (B.S., ’82) lives. The two met in 1981 while they were both studying accounting, at a party held by Beta Alpha Psi, the honor organization for financial information students and professionals. “I literally saw Adrienne across the room,” David recounts. “One of my friends was standing next to me and I asked, ‘Who is that?’ and he said, ‘That’s my ex-girlfriend.’”

David grew up in Daly City and could not afford to move away from home for college or attend a private university. To him, an Accounting degree from SF State meant a well-paid, dependable job after graduation. Adrienne was a first-generation college grad and remembers her family’s pride in her career. “My dad was so happy when I graduated with an Accounting degree,” says Adrienne. “He would tell all his friends, ‘My daughter is an accountant!’” 

Both David and Adrienne feel that their careers got a great start at SF State and that the Accounting program gave them an excellent foundation in the practical mechanics of the field. “If you’re in business, the way you value a business and look at it is all based on the numbers,” says David. “If you’re going through an accounting program you learn all of those details.” 

Adrienne and David Yarnold
Adrienne and David Yarnold

After graduating, both Adrienne and David became certified public accountants, with David eventually becoming CEO of a software business. Adrienne worked as a CPA headhunter. The couple also became major donors to the Lam Family College of Business, with a focus on funding scholarships for Accounting students. Having come from less-privileged backgrounds themselves, they have a deep appreciation for hard work and the road blocks many students at SF State face. 

“That’s been our deal — our whole life is just work hard and do the right thing,” says David. “It’s still at the core of what SF State is about. It provides an opportunity for students to get a relatively inexpensive education and to do whatever they dream of accomplishing. We want to see as many kids understand that opportunity and take advantage of it as possible.


For more information about donating to the Lam Family College of Business, contact:

Anjali Billa ( She/Her/Hers )
Associate Vice President of University Development
(415) 405-3625