DELAWARE, OHIO – Louis A. Simpson is investing in his college alma mater and its faculty – contributing $2 million to Ohio Wesleyan University to benefit the school’s Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship.
Simpson, a 1958 Ohio Wesleyan alumnus, managed the portfolio for GEICO, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., for more than 30 years before founding his own investment-advisory firm, SQ Advisors LLC.
“The economics program at OWU gave me a solid grounding to pursue a career in investments,” said Simpson, who majored in economics and accounting at Ohio Wesleyan. He also holds a master’s degree from Princeton University.
His gift to Ohio Wesleyan will create The Louis A. Simpson ’58 Endowed Faculty Director of The Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship – supporting a new generation of economics faculty leaders such as those he recalls so fondly in OWU professors Blaine E. Grimes and Norman H. Leonard.
Established in 1985, the Woltemade Center works to enhance teaching, learning, research, and community service at Ohio Wesleyan, with its primary focus on the Department of Economics and the fields of economics, finance, marketing, management, entrepreneurship, accounting, and international business.
The center is named in honor of the late Uwe J. Woltemade, Ph.D., an Ohio Wesleyan economics faculty member from 1965 to1995. Grants and gifts from the Cleveland Foundation, the Ford Motor Co. Fund, alumni, and friends also were used to help establish the facility.
The Woltemade Center provides opportunities for students to become Corns Business and Entrepreneurial Scholars and Economics Management Fellows, to complete meaningful internships through the Blaine E. Grimes Summer Grant Program, to collaborate with faculty on research projects through the Norman Leonard Endowed Student Research Grant Fund, to participate in the Burton D. Morgan Student Paper Competition, to be nominated for the Woltemade Prize, and to be selected for the Joann P. Harvey Accounting Award. The center also assists a number of student organizations, including the OWU Marketing Group and the university’s Investment Club.
Simpson’s endowment will provide permanent support to endow the faculty director of the center, who also is a senior member of the economics faculty. The current director is Alice E. Simon, Ph.D., who joined the university in 1985 and whose areas of teaching include monetary and fiscal policy, labor economics, consumer economics, and economic principles.
“This gift supports a program quite unique for liberal arts universities,” said Simon, who also serves as the James Heisler Professor of Economics. “The integration of economics with business and entrepreneurship represents the best of theory into practice. Ensuring that economics department faculty can continue to influence the leaders of tomorrow alongside alumni is a formula for continued success.
“The Woltemade Center and the Department of Economics are grateful to be recognized by this endowment, which applauds both academic excellence and practical applications,” continued Simon, whose interests include consumer sovereignty and information search behaviors. “I feel honored to be the first center director to be named.”
Ohio Wesleyan President Rock Jones, Ph.D., said Simpson’s gift recognizes the significant and continuing return on investment that comes from supporting a rigorous, interdisciplinary liberal arts education for students and, especially, the faculty members who are dedicated to educating future generations of national and world leaders.
“Lou Simpson is proof of the power of education,” Jones said. “He is iconic in the world of high finance, and Ohio Wesleyan is proud to call him one of our own. We are honored that he sees the tremendous value of The Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship and is supporting it with a $2 million gift. He previously served as an instructor of economics at Princeton, making his endowment of the faculty directorship even more personal and more significant.”
Prior to founding SQ Advisors, Simpson served from 1993 to 2010 as president and chief executive officer of capital operations for GEICO, a subsidiary of Warren E. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Simpson joined GEICO in 1979, coming from Western Asset Management, a subsidiary of California-based Western Bancorporation.
In October, Simpson will add another honor to his impressive curriculum vitae when he is awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Ohio Wesleyan. He also will speak on campus Oct. 3, delivering the university’s 2013 Robert L. Milligan Leaders in Business Lecture Series.
Learn more about giving to the university.
Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities. Ohio Wesleyan offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. OWU combines an internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that connect classroom theory with real-world practice. Located in Delaware, Ohio, OWU’s 1,850 students represent 41 states and 45 countries. The university is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.