Fund Gives Undergrads Opportunity to Do "Real-World" Investing
Chestertown, MD, March 6, 2006 — Jim Price, former partner and managing director of Alex. Brown and a Trustee Emeritus of Washington College, and his wife Midge have donated $500,000 to the College to establish the Alex. Brown Student Investment Program. The program—one of only 135 such investment funds at colleges around the country—will enable undergraduate students studying business management to learn first-hand about investment strategies and working capital markets.
"When I finished college, I had no real-world knowledge of the investment world," said Price. "It was learning on the job. When I joined Alex. Brown & Sons, I had great mentors but, as I look back, I always wished I had started with more knowledge of investments."
The $500,000 gift will form the corpus of a new fund to be invested, monitored, and reported on by a select group of Washington College business management majors under the guidance of faculty and a fund advisory board. The students will gain this experience as part of a new course on capital markets and investment strategies that will include regular presentations by industry leaders and coursework on business ethics.
"By adding real-world connections, this incredible gift transforms how Washington College students learn about finance and investing," said Professor Michael Harvey, Chair of the Business Management Department. "The program makes it possible for our undergraduates to take on multi-million-dollar responsibilities, to learn by doing and to experience first-hand the complexities of investing and financial decision-making in today's markets. It's a large set of responsibilities, but I'm confident our students are up to it."
Price hopes that the course will not only impart academic knowledge but career advantages as well.
"Our students should arrive in the business world with the edge we want all Washington College graduates to have," he added.
In addition to his belief in the value of student investment programs, Price wants his gift to memorialize the name of Alex. Brown at Washington College. The two institutions share a long, rich history in the state of Maryland. Alex. Brown, the oldest investment banking firm in the country, was founded in Baltimore in 1800—just 18 years after Washington College was established in Chestertown—and the firm maintained its headquarters in Baltimore for nearly 200 years. Following in his father's footsteps, Price joined the firm in 1952 and retired in 1996. After graduating from Washington College, his son Jon Price, Class of 1980, also started his career at Alex. Brown and now works for Brown Advisory and Trust, a spin-off of Alex. Brown. Both Price and the College's current Board Chairman, Jay Griswold, have served as trustees of Washington College.
Price has invited former partners and associates of Alex. Brown to support the student investment program, and he anticipates a strong response.
"Some of my former Alex. Brown partners will be joining me in this project, and The Hodson Trust has agreed to match my gift and other monies that are contributed up to $1 million."
The Hodson Trust's matching gifts will be invested in the College's endowment, with earnings used to offset faculty compensation, speaker fees, and other costs associated with this new program.
Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences located in historic Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, it was the first college chartered in the new nation.