Finance Faculty Establish Fund for Students

Finance student trip to NYC

By combining their individual gifts in the Family Campaign, three faculty members in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Finance Department have made a major impact on the department’s students and programs.

The three $25,000 gifts by professors Harold Black, Jim Wansley and an anonymous faculty member have endowed an enrichment fund that will ensure the continuation and expansion of experiential learning for undergraduate and graduate students, boosting their ability to impact the finance industry as they pursue their careers.

The $75,000 gift is part of the Campaign for Tennessee, a $1 billion fundraising effort that was officially launched on April 17 at the University of Tennessee.

Interest income from the "Finance Department Endowment for Student Programs" will help make possible experiences like a recent four-day trip by students in the department to see the financial capital of the world, New York City. The students visited Wall Street and spent time with UT alumni who shared what it’s like to live and work in Manhattan.

Former students frequently told Wansley, who also heads the finance department, that experiential learning was a key factor in their success in the world of work. The important and immediate impact the fund will have on students also influenced Black’s participation in the combined gift.

"The university has been good to me over my 21 years here," Black said, "and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be helpful in the Family Campaign."

Securing significant funding for its student-oriented programs is a priority for the Finance Department in the Campaign for Tennessee. By combining their resources, Black, Wansley, and a fellow faculty member were able to endow a fund that addresses that goal and sets an example of generous giving for other campaign contributors.

The Campaign for Tennessee — the most ambitious effort in the university’s 214-year history — places UT among the ranks of the nation’s largest public and private institutions that have sought this level of private support.

The campaign, which launched its silent phase in 2005, will secure private gifts that, in turn, will contribute substantially to the distinct, but linked, campuses comprised by the University of Tennessee system. Funds raised through the campaign will directly support the objectives of UT’s strategic plan, as outlined by UT President John Petersen. Among those objectives are improved student access and success, research and economic development, outreach and globalization.