Fincher Building, Cox School of Business, SMURetired SMU faculty member Andrew H. Chen and his wife, Elaine T. Chen, have made a $2 million gift to the Edwin L. Cox School of Business to establish The Andrew H. Chen Endowed Chair in Financial Investments Fund. Andrew, who retired as professor emeritus of finance in 2012, said he and his wife wanted to ensure that the Cox School will continue to attract outstanding finance faculty.

The gift will include $1.5 million for the endowment of the faculty chair and $500,000 for operational support, which will enable immediate use of the position while the endowment vests.

“As a faculty member in the Finance Department, I focused much of my research and teaching in the areas of option pricing and options-related investment strategies, ” Andrew said. “After retiring from my faculty position, I decided to put into practice what I had taught in the classroom and was fortunate enough to meet with some success. Elaine and I now find ourselves in the position of being able to make a useful contribution to the Cox School by setting up an endowed chair in financial investment. We hope that this new finance chair will further enhance the Cox Finance Department’s reputation and enable its holder to enjoy an excellent career at SMU, just as I did when I was a member of the Finance Department.”

Elaine Chen said her husband’s experience as a chairholder at Cox played a large role in their decision.

“Since our days as graduate students at a leading U.S. business school (University of California, Berkeley), both Andy and I have always placed great value on finance education and research,” Elaine said. “Andy’s finance chair at SMU was invaluable in facilitating his teaching and research activities for nearly 30 years, and we are always grateful for the positive impact that the chair had on Andy’s career. Therefore, we decided to contribute in kind by helping to establish a new finance chair in the Cox School. It’s our hope that the contribution for this new chair will attract a talented finance scholar who will further develop his or her own research career at the Cox School while providing a top-notch learning experience to many students.”

A member of the Cox faculty from 1983-2012, Andrew Chen is a renowned researcher, educator, prolific author, business consultant and respected colleague in the field of finance. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the National Taiwan University and both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. He has also been a visiting scholar at universities in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Australia.

“The Chens’ thoughtful gift will allow the Cox School of Business to continue building one of the best programs in the country,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “It’s especially meaningful that a retired faculty member and his wife would feel compelled to make such a gift.”

The editor or co-author of several books, Andrew Chen has written more than 125 articles in leading academic and professional journals. He served as editor of Research in Finance and a managing editor of the International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance. He has held leadership positions with financial institutions and corporations and has been a consultant to several companies and government agencies. He served as president of the Financial Management Association International and as a director of the Asia-Pacific Finance Association.

At Cox, Andrew Chen was known for his passion for both research and teaching, frequently working with independent-study students on investment strategies. SMU Provost Steven C. Currall said the new endowed chair will help the University secure a similarly minded scholar.

“Endowed chairs support SMU’s mission to strengthen its academic foundation for the future by recruiting and retaining distinguished faculty,” Currall  said. “Dr. Chen understands this better than most thanks to his own experience at Cox. This gift will make a difference for our students for years to come and help to raise SMU’s national and international profile as an outstanding university.”

Finance is the most popular major for Cox undergraduates, with almost half of the BBA students declared as finance majors. More than half of Cox MBA students choose a finance degree program. The finance department offers students unique immersive experiences such as the EnCap Investments and LCM Group Alternative Asset Management Center, the Kitt Investing and Trading Center, the Don Jackson Center for Financial Studies and the Practicum in Portfolio Management.

SMU Cox School of Business Dean Matthew Myers said the Chens’ largesse will extend this legacy.

“I had known about Dr. Chen long before my arrival at SMU,” Myers said. “He has always had a reputation for keeping students challenged and excited about finance. This position will enable us to always remember Andy’s invaluable contributions to SMU and will help us attract other talented scholars to the Cox School. We are so appreciative of Andy and Elaine’s generosity, and hope they will come back often to Cox to see the impact of their gift.”

> Read the full story from SMU News