Professor Mohamed “Mo” Onsi, 84, passed away Nov. 22 in Syracuse, New York. He was born in Egypt and moved to Cairo in his teens to study accounting. After graduating with honors from Cairo University, he worked briefly at the National Bank of Egypt. He was appointed an instructor in accounting at Cairo University and was employed as a cost accounting consultant with the firm of Dr. Abdel Aziz Hegazy.
In January 1960, Mo came to the United States for graduate school. He attended the University of Illinois, where he obtained both his master’s degree and his Ph.D. in accounting. It was there he met his beloved wife, Patricia, to whom he was happily married for over 56 years.
Following graduation from Illinois, Mo and Pat moved to California, where he was an assistant professor of accounting at California State University, Fresno. In 1966 he joined the faculty of Syracuse University. Over the next 42 years Professor Onsi led faculty members in developing the accounting Ph.D. program, revising the MBA program, and establishing an M.S. in accounting program. He was chairman of the Accounting Department for a total of 13 years. Mo was proud of the fact that over the course of his career he taught in excess of 5,000 students and served as supervisor to 25 Ph.D. candidates. He pursued teaching opportunities outside the department as well, including programs at several foreign universities and in the Army Comptrollership Program. Mo took great joy in following his students’ careers and stayed in touch with many of them following graduation.
Beyond his teaching and consulting, Mo was very active in research and service to his professional associations. He published over 30 research papers and served on the editorial board of several academic journals. In recognition of his service, Professor Onsi was inducted into the American Accounting Association Hall of Fame, Northeast Region, in 1992.
Mo was known for his gregarious personality and welcoming spirit, and he was always ready for a new adventure. In retirement he enjoyed spending time both in Syracuse and in Florida, frequently hosting family members from around the world. He also took two trips to Egypt, including one in celebration of his birthday in 2019.
Mo is survived by his wife, his three children, Douglas Onsi (Nicole) of Hopkinton, Robert Onsi (Ellison) of North Potomac, Maryland, and Ellen Bonito (David) of Harrison, New York, and his six grandchildren, Alexandra, Thomas, Catherine, Isabella, Johnathan and Evalina, as well as by many nieces and nephews throughout the world. He loved them all dearly, and he will be missed very much.
A celebration of Professor Onsi’s life will take place at a future date. Services are under the care of the Farone & Son Funeral Home in Syracuse. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Syracuse University in honor of Professor Mohamed Onsi.