STAR (Student Trading and Research)
In the 1980’s, former ACU professor and Board of Trustee member, Don Drennan, conceived of a student managed investment fund. He and Mrs. Drennan made a $25,000 donation to ACU to provide the money for such a fund. By 1999, the $25,000 had grown to $50,000 but this amount was managed as a part of ACU’s overall endowment funds.
In fall of 1999, Dr. Jonathan Stewart, Dr. Terry Pope and Dr. Jack Griggs selected a group of students to assume management of these funds. The professors decided that the students needed at least $100,000 to manage. The three professors, along with ACU trustee Randy Nicholson, added an additional $61,000 of their own money to be invested by the students. To accommodate both the ACU money and the money of the professors and Mr. Nicholson, the fund was originally organized as a limited liability corporation. The legal groundwork was done and policies and procedures were written. The students decided to call their fund STAR, an acronym for Student Trading and Research. In June 2000, the fund made its first stock purchase. During January of 2005, Jack Rich, Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer for ACU was instrumental in the restructuring of the fund. The STAR L.L.P. was dissolved and the outside investors’ funds were returned to them.
For the first time in the fall of 2012, STAR managers received academic credit for a 3-hour course. The fund typically has about twenty student managers. Since inception, STAR’s average annual return exceeds that of its benchmark, the S&P 500, by over 2%. Funds currently being managed total over $450,000.
Dr. Terry Pope
Professor of Finance