On August 20, 1980, assets with a value of nearly $500,000 were transferred to Stetson University. This gift fulfilled the dream of the late Mr. Roland George, who believed students should learn from hands-on experience. His vision allows Stetson University to offer students an opportunity that few other institutions of higher education can - the investment and management of actual dollars.
In honor of her husband, Mrs. Sarah George sought a university that would allow students to manage money under the guidance of successful practitioners. Because Mr. George was annoyed with colleges teaching only theory, the program he envisioned would enable students to manage an actual portfolio. Under the pressure of generating sufficient income to pay program expenses, the students would purchase and sell securities, and monitor the portfolio. Mrs. George stressed that failure, as well as success, should be part of the learning experience, and insisted that students have a major voice in the investment decision-making process.
Mrs. George, along with her brother Robert Wilson and attorney Frank Gaylord, approached Stetson University with her idea. Their contributions, with those of President Pope Duncan, Dean David Nylen, Dr. H. Douglas Lee, and Professor Kenneth Jackson, developed the Roland George Investments Program.
Stetson University's Roland George Investments Program is unique in its conception and design. Stetson business students are afforded the opportunity to manage a portfolio, complete with the pressures of possible failure. While many universities offer courses using computer-simulated programs with "play" money, Stetson University students are charged with investing $3.5 million.
Mr. Roland George felt that exposing students to experienced investment managers and allowing them to participate in actual investment decisions were ideal ways to prepare for a career in investments. His dream has become a reality, and the program has met its goals successfully for 35 years.
Mrs. Sarah George