The best professors change the lives of their students, exposing them to new perspectives, ideas and possibilities. A desire to recognize such a professor was part of the reason SMU parents Mary Helen and Mike A. Fabacher chose to present a gift of $1 million to Cox School of Business, where their son, Eric Fabacher ’10, is a student in the BBA program.

Their gift established the Fabacher Endowed Professorship of Alternative Asset Management in the EnCap Investments & LCM Group Alternative Asset Management Center at the Cox School. Kumar Venkataraman, who received the Outstanding Teaching Award in the MBA program in 2008, was named to the professorship.

“The generosity that Mary Helen and Mike Fabacher have shown to our faculty will strengthen our legacy of excellence in business education,” said Cox School Dean Al Niemi.

The Fabacher Endowed Professorship is one of 16 new endowed academic positions established thus far through The Second Century Campaign.

Venkataraman’s work includes a focus on investment strategies involving nontraditional assets such as hedge funds and private equity funds. Other research interests include market microstructure, financial market design and measurement of trading cost.

“We are very pleased with Professor Venkataraman’s record of success in the classroom, as well as his valuable research in the area of finance,” the Fabachers said in a statement.

The Fabachers said their gift also was intended to help strengthen the EnCap Investments & LCM Group Alternative Asset Management Center.

To learn about supporting Cox School of Business, please contact Robin Maness at 214-768-3890 or