Friends and colleagues,
This issue of Vanderbilt Business centers on two themes: (1) the amazing impact our finance faculty have made in the academic community and the financial markets, and (2) the entrepreneurial spark ignited in so many of our graduates by the Owen experience. It’s no coincidence the subjects are featured in the same issue. In fact, they share a common thread.
The photo essay in this issue traces the many accomplishments of our finance faculty, starting with the illustrious work begun by Hans Stoll and continued by others, including Bill Christie, Bob Whaley, Nick Bollen, Jacob Sagi, David Parsley, Alexei Ovtchinnikov and Miguel Palacios. It’s a story that encompasses the Financial Markets Research Center’s 24 years of excellence, as well as recent achievements like the collaboration between Whaley, Sagi and alumnus Eric Noll (MBA’90) in launching a new, innovative NASDAQ product. It’s also a story that is being added to each day by professors like Craig Lewis, who is currently a visiting scholar on loan to the Securities and Exchange Commission. And running throughout are examples of how our finance faculty have influenced the careers of our alumni. Thanks to their classroom experiences, countless graduates have learned not only how the financial markets work but also how to change those markets for the better.
Meanwhile entrepreneurial studies also play a critical role in our curriculum, as illustrated in this issue’s feature article. The work of faculty members Germain Böer, Michael Burcham and Bruce Lynskey is legendary, and many of our alumni have learned from them how to take the kernel of an idea and grow it into a prosperous business. A few of these alumni come to mind, including Josué Gomes da Silva (MBA’89), Jack Long (MBA’83), Carin Barth (MBA’86), Brent Turner (MBA’99), Matt Gelfand (MBA’92), Deb Guthrie (MBA’79), Bo Bartholomew (EMBA’05), A.J. Kazimi (MBA’84), Mike Saint (EMBA’98) and Jim Sohr (MBA’90). This entrepreneurial spirit also can be seen in large organizations where alumni like Chuck Vice (MBA’90), Connie Ritter (MBA’80), Dave Kloeppel (MBA’96), Doug Parker (MBA’86), Allan Keel (EMBA’90), John Underwood (MBA’98) and Susan Adzick (EMBA’84) all play major roles. In growing, changing and leading their companies, they are relying on the skills gained at Owen and their own entrepreneurial DNA.
So what is the common thread between the two themes of this Vanderbilt Business issue? It’s that Owen’s faculty share an intellectual curiosity and breed a culture of impact. By asking the questions “What if?” and “Why not?,” they are challenging the status quo and making a difference. It’s why the really smart applicants look to the substance of what we do and come to Owen. The opportunity to learn from such incredible scholars in a close-knit environment is just one of the many ways in which our school stands apart.
James W. Bradford
Dean, Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management
Ralph Owen Professor for the Practice of Management