Rogers Couple Endows Finance Professorship
Clete and Tammy Brewer of Rogers, Ark., have established an endowed professorship in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.
The couple's gift of $500,000 was matched by the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation for a total of $1 million for the Clete and Tammy Brewer Endowed Professorship in Business. The professorship has been awarded to Craig G. Rennie, assistant professor of finance, and faculty adviser for the portfolio management class.
"In the Walton College, connecting theory and practice is a top priority," said Walton College Dean Dan L. Worrell. "This professorship will assist Dr. Rennie in continuing to help our finance students practice their skills in the real world laboratory of financial markets. We are very grateful to the Brewers for this gift, which will also provide funding for research, internships and financial support for other experiential learning activities."
Rennie joined the Walton College in 2001 and has directed the portfolio management class since August 2002. The class portfolio has outperformed the S&P 500 in each of the last three years. For 2005, the class generated total returns of 12.4 percent, compared to only 4.9 percent for the class S&P 500 benchmark. For the period 2003–2005, classes generated cumulative total holding period returns of 92.3 percent (24.4 percent annualized), compared to only 49.7 percent (14.4 percent annualized) for the S&P 500.
In 2005, the class placed first in the undergraduate hybrid funds category at the Global Student Managed Investment Funds Conference in Dayton, Ohio, and took first place in the first-ever security selection competition at New York University. The class is the third oldest of its kind in the country and allows students to learn about investments through their management of a portfolio of equity, fixed-income and option securities.
Wayne Lee, chair of the finance department and holder of the Garrison Chair in Finance and Alice Walton Chair in Finance, said, "Dr. Rennie has also done an excellent job not only in exposing the students to the real world of finance through fields trips, distinguished guest speakers and internships, but also in teaching and mentoring students. We thank the Brewers for helping him enhance this teaching environment."
Clete Brewer said, "Tammy and I are excited about the University of Arkansas and particularly the Walton College. It played a big part in our lives, and it will continue to do so for many young Arkansans and for enterprising students outside our state as well. This successful campaign would not have been possible without the support of the Walton Family and former dean of the Walton College, Doyle Williams. Tammy and I are pleased to be a small part of their tremendous efforts."
Clete Brewer graduated from the Walton College in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in finance and real estate. He is president of Horizant Sports LLC and was recently appointed president of Sports Clips Inc. He was among the first group of 40 young business leaders under the age of 40 to be recognized by Arkansas Business. Tammy Brewer is co-owner and secretary/treasurer of Horizant Sports LLC. She previously served on the United Way Pillars Committee and in the Junior Service League and is now on the Sunshine School fundraising committee. She currently serves on her church building and staff parish relations committees.
Clete Brewer was previously chairman, chief executive officer and a founder of Edgewater Technology, formerly known as StaffMark. When he sold StaffMark and other subsidiaries, he retained the software development part of the business, based in Wakefield, Mass., where he remains on the board of directors. He is also a board member of the Walton College Dean's Executive Advisory Board, Virtual Incubation LLC and other private company boards.
Rennie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Toronto; a Master of Arts in war studies from Royal Military College of Canada; a master's degree in business administration from Dalhousie University, Canada; and a doctoral degree in finance from the University of Oregon. His experience includes 14 years of service in a variety of positions with the Canadian Air Force, where he reached the rank of major. His research interests include empirical corporate finance and investments. He teaches investments, corporate finance and global financial markets and institutions at the undergraduate, master and doctoral levels. Rennie currently serves on two doctoral thesis committees and has supervised 10 undergraduate thesis projects as part of the Walton College Honors program.
Rennie's portfolio management class currently manages a portfolio worth approximately $1.4 million. On March 17, 2004, the class was featured on CNBC's Kudlow and Cramer.
This past fall, 14 Walton College seniors in the class visited New York City. "This trip exposed students to the daily activities of some of the top minds in the greatest financial institutions in the world," Rennie said. "This year, students visited senior executives at Stephens Inc., UBS, Allied Capital, Austin Atlantic/M2 Capital Partners, CSFB, Morgan Stanley, Wachovia Securities, and the New York Stock Exchange." The class made a similar visit on Oct. 27–28 to Stephens Inc.’s headquarters in Little Rock, Ark. Rennie added, "Today, our students networked with some of the most brilliant investment minds in the world. Tomorrow, our students will join them."
When the Walton College's new graduate school building, Willard J. Walker Hall, is completed in 2007, the class will be managed and housed in a new trading center, a division of the Garrison Financial Institute. A special trading facility will be available to students in the portfolio management class as well as the Arvest Bank Group fixed income portfolio management class and the Shollmier MBA Investment management class.
This gift was committed during the Campaign for the Twenty-First Century, which recorded $1.046 billion in gifts and pledges designated toward student and faculty endowments, academic programs, capital improvements and University Libraries when it concluded June 30, 2005.
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