Moore School finance professor Allen N. Berger and his wife, Mindy S. Ring, chose to create a planned gift to support finance students and faculty to honor their commitments to teaching and research.
Berger, who was with the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C., before coming to the Moore School in 2008, said he had only visited South Carolina once for a conference in Charleston before deciding to join the faculty in the finance department to teach finance and banking policy.
“I had no idea I would like South Carolina so much or that I would like teaching so much,” he said. “The unknown always makes you nervous. I enjoy teaching undergraduates but enjoy teaching doctoral students even more. I think of the graduate students as my children.”
Berger relies heavily on his research experience for his coursework.
“Undergraduate students may not realize they’re getting research about banking, but 60-70 percent of my course is from research, not a textbook,” he said. “Research promotes knowledge, helps with service to the university and makes for better teaching.”
Berger said he has always been passionate about promoting research in finance, so he hopes to inspire others to pursue similar careers with his planned gift. Berger and Ring plan to transfer some of their 401K-type investments to create the Allen N. Berger Endowed Chair in Finance Fund. The remainder of the $1.5 million gift will be from their reciprocal wills.
Berger, the H. Montague Osteen Jr. Professor in Banking and Finance, has enjoyed the benefits of an endowed professorship and understands how such funds can attract top professors. He is also a Carolina Distinguished Professor, an honor reserved for the top professors at UofSC.
In the future, Berger and Ring’s endowed chair will be held by a Moore School finance professor; they said they hope the endowed chair values finance research and teaching as much as they do. They also recognize that attracting and retaining senior researchers with chair positions helps with recruiting, retaining and improving other faculty within the finance department, the Moore School and the university. The chair positions also help faculty further enhance their research and teaching.
Berger said the endowment of a chair position allows him and Ring to continue contributing to research and teaching at the Moore School in perpetuity.