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The Cauthen Student Investment Fund

The Cauthen Student Investment Fund: College of Business students are investing real money — and making profits count — because of a unique gift of financial support


Brian Cauthen, a representative of the Irvin and Jorene Cauthen Donor Advised Fund (DAF), is helping support Anderson University students studying business and finance to gain hands-on experience managing an investment portfolio. His family’s gift created the Cauthen Student Investment Fund, which allows students the opportunity to manage real money—and use its profits to make the world a better place.

The Irvin and Jorene Cauthen Donor Advised Fund operates in conjunction with the Foothills Community Foundation, a grantmaking public charity funded by individuals and businesses. Cauthen is the Irvin and Jorene DAF representative. In fall 2020 he moved forward with the decision to provide Anderson University with the needed grant to complete the capital objective and start the student- run investment fund. In March 2021, as the fund grew past the $100,000 mark, Cauthen announced that an additional $25,000 donation would be made from the Cauthen DAF to the Cauthen Student Investment Fund.

The Cauthen Student Investment Fund empowers students to apply in the real world what they are learning in the classroom.

According to Dr. Gordon Smith of the Anderson University College of Business, the Cauthen Fund uses the Biblically Responsible Investing Institute (BRII) index as a resource to help students steer clear of companies that violate Anderson University’s values.

After analyzing the financial statements of a potential company for purchase, students vote on a recommendation to buy a certain number of shares of the stock. The total value of the purchase is not to exceed 3.33 percent of the initial endowment of the Cauthen Fund since the aim of the fund is to hold equal amounts of stock in 30 different companies. Each recommendation is voted on by the students, with 70 percent approval needed for the Cauthen Fund to make a purchase. Approved recommendations are passed along to the Investment Fund Committee for approval and purchase.

“This opportunity really gives students a crash course in real-life portfolio management that can’t be replicated in a classroom setting alone,” Cauthen said. “In most college finance curriculums, students will study risk analysis, pricing and financial theory, among other fundamental capital market concepts. The creation of the student investment fund provides an incredible opportunity to learn with real dollars at risk and hopefully grow the account over time.”

“The College of Business is very honored and thankful to Brian Cauthen and the Cauthen Fund for their generosity to the University and our students,” said Steve Nail, dean of the Anderson University College of Business. “These funds will enable our students to better understand investing strategies and the benefits of using revenue generating opportunities to better the lives of those in need around the world.”

Cauthen, director of multifamily and rental financing at LIMA One Capital in Greenville, S.C., is the grandson of Irvin L. and Jorene J. Cauthen, namesakes of the Irvin and Jorene Cauthen Donor Advised Fund.

“My grandfather was a small business owner. He had a background in business and engineering. As we always consider what to donate and contribute to, something of this nature was an absolute perfect fit,” Cauthen said.

“Anderson University is deeply touched by this generous gift and honored to be associated with the foundation started by Brian’s family and the Foothills Community Foundation,” said Anderson University President Evans Whitaker, Ph.D. “Their support is making a tangible difference in the lives of our students now and in the future. We’re extraordinarily thankful for the investment they’ve made in Anderson University and its continued growth.”