A Million Reasons to Celebrate

Nicolette Bardos

Students in an investment class tasked with managing a university portfolio now valued at more than $1 million are marking the program's 20th anniversary this year.

Since the inception of Student and Foundation Fund (SAFF) in 1992, the class has continuously outperformed professionals in the field, with fivefold growth in the initial $200,000 the group started with.

"The class is a great experience and tremendous learning opportunity," said SAFF founder and professor John Clinebell.

The group of 12 students, selected through a competitive application process, meets once a week during the academic year. They take turns leading the meeting, creating economic forecasts and evaluating their investments. They are required to stay up to date on news related to the economy, markets and international issues.

Clinebell helps the students follow best practices, but all of the final decisions are ultimately made by the students -- which is just one of the things that makes SAFF at UNC unique.

Over the years, the SAFF classes have also placed in the top 10 going up against other universities at a global investment challenge in New York. The event gives them the opportunity to meet professionals, as well as to present their own portfolio to a panel of judges.

"Lots of companies love to see the involvement with SAFF on resumes," said Sydney Ross, senior finance major in SAFF. "The class is more like a job, and it's the perfect bridge between education and the real world."

For more information about the class, http://mcb.unco.edu/Clubs/SAFF

Room Naming
The North Colorado Medical Center Conference Room in Kepner Hall is part of the new Financial Education Center in UNC's Monfort College of Business and recognizes a $250,000 gift from NCMC Inc. The center will replace the existing trading room that is home to the award-winning SAFF class. Once renovated, the space will consist of a trading room, teaching lab, multiuse conference room and auxiliary classroom. Construction will begin when the university has raised $900,000 in private support from alumni, friends and organizations. If you're interested in making a gift, visit http://www.uncfoundation.org/giving

- Story by Nicolette Bardos