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SMU Cox School of Business dedicates Kitt Investing and Trading Center

Students will learn practical finance and investment applications

September 28, 2011

Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist UniversityDALLAS (SMU) —The new Kitt Investing and Trading Center will be dedicated at the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at SMU at 4 p.m., Sept. 28, in the Lower Level Atrium of the School.  The Center has been established with a substantial gift to the University from the family of Barry M. and Beth M. Kitt, SMU parents; one son is working toward his BBA from Cox and another son is a Cox alumnus.     

“SMU Cox has offered a wonderful experience to our sons, and by extension to our entire family,” Mr. Kitt said.  “We feel fortunate to have this unique opportunity to support the University.”

Barry Kitt found success early in his career working as a market maker on the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE).  Several years later, he moved to Texas where he launched two successful hedge funds.   While managing those hedge funds, Mr. Kitt and his wife, Beth, raised three children in the Dallas area, two of whom chose to pursue their college education at SMU. 

Their eldest son, Gregory, graduated magna cum laude from SMU Cox in 2008 with a major in finance and a minor in Chinese.  He now works for a U.S.–based investment bank in Shanghai, China.  The Kitts’ youngest son, Steven, is majoring in finance at Cox and economics with financial applications at Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.  Their daughter, Monica, graduated from Wake Forest in 2010 and pursued a double major, business/enterprise management and Chinese language and culture, with a minor in international studies.  Like her older brother, she works in Shanghai. 

All three children were involved in the Kitt family decision to make the gift.  “Because our children are all part of the business and finance world, we decided together that a gift to the Cox School of Business was a good fit for our family.  We really like the idea of making an impact on the future of the students who will become the next generation of leaders educated at SMU,” Mrs. Kitt said.

In conjunction with the Ann Rife Cox Undergraduate and Nancy Chambers Underwood Graduate student-managed investment portfolios, the 32-seat Kitt Center will give students the opportunity to learn practical finance and investment applications.  Inspired by Mr. Kitt’s years in the financial markets, the Kitt Investing and Trading Center contains a 1,200-square-foot LED stock ticker, three video walls, 22 high-end work stations and 10 Bloomberg Professional terminals, with state-of-the-art data feeds and financial software.

“The Kitt Investing and Trading Center takes our finance curriculum to the next level,” said Albert W. Niemi, Jr., dean of SMU Cox.  “We are most grateful to the Kitt family for having the vision to create a tool that will give students at SMU Cox the opportunity to gain hands-on investing and trading experience, even before they enter the competitive job market.  What a wonderful gift to our students, the Cox School and the University.”

The Kitt family gift comes during the Centennial celebration of the University’s founding year.  It is the first large capital gift that has been given to SMU Cox as part of The Second Century Campaign.  

“The generosity of the Kitt Family is inspirational. The Kitt Investing and Trading Center will offer a real-world learning experience and make a difference in the education and careers of SMU’s business graduates well into SMU’s Second Century,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.  “We are thrilled that the Kitt family chose to make this gift while their youngest son is still a student at SMU Cox so that he, too, may experience this wonderful hands-on learning opportunity.”

Barry M. and Beth M. Kitt will attend the dedication ceremony of the new Kitt Investing and Trading Center, along with sons Gregory and Steven, on Sept. 28.  The 4 p.m. dedication ceremony will be followed immediately by a reception in the Lower Level Atrium of the Cox School of Business. 

The Second Century Campaign continues at SMU through 2015.  Four commitments to endow faculty positions in the Cox School have been received during the Campaign. They are the Fabacher Endowed Professor of Alternative Asset Management, the Jerome M. Fullinwider Endowed Centennial Chair in Economic Freedom Fund, the Bobby B. Lyle Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and the David B. Miller Endowed Professorship in Business.

For information about making a donation or other naming opportunities, contact Laran O’Neill, director of Development for the Cox School of Business, (214) 768-4988.

About SMU Cox

SMU's Cox School of Business offers a full range of business education programs, including BBA, full-time MBA, Professional MBA (PMBA), Executive MBA (EMBA), Master of Science in Management (MSM) and Executive Education. The school also offers a number of unique resources and activities for students, ranging from its Business Leadership Center (BLC), Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship, Maguire Energy Institute and American Airlines Global Leadership Program (AAGLP) to its Associate Board Executive Mentoring Program and an international alumni network with chapters in more than 20 countries. SMU Cox is ranked among the top business schools nationally and internationally by major publications, including Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The Economist, Financial Times, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report.

About SMU

SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.

Media Contact:

Anna Martinez
Phone: 214-768-4474

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