Student-managed Endowment for Educational Development


About Us

In the spring of 1991, Dr. Don Chance, a Finance professor, approached Dr. Richard Sorensen, Dean of the Pamplin College of Business, about his vision of starting an organization of select students that would manage an investment portfolio. He wanted to allow students to apply classroom theories to a real world situation. This opportunity would leave Virginia Tech’s students more capable in the professional environments they would soon be entering.

Dean Sorensen quickly became a proponent of the idea. The next step was to determine where these funds would come from. They mutually decided to approach the Virginia Tech Foundation in the hopes of raising the funds. Dr. Raymond D. Smoot, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Foundation, was in strong favor of the idea and suggested that the group make a presentation to the Foundation’s Investment Committee.

In the fall, the process of actually petitioning the Foundation began. Dr. Chance shared his vision with John Paul, President of the Finance Club, in hopes that the club would draft a proposal as a special project. John Paul and the entire Finance Club were flattered to have this enormous responsibility. The founding SEED team – John Paul, Jason Fitez, Butch Glass, Chad McCoy, Wes Mutter, Mark Ortiz, Hiren Patel, Brett Pilipick, Amy Scrivener, Chris Snodgrass, and Scott Trexler – prepared a presentation for the Foundation. In April of 1992, Paul, Fitez, Ortiz, and Patel made their presentation to the Investment Committee of the Foundation and asked to manage $1.5 million of the Foundation’s endowment funds. Though their reactions were positive, the Investment Committee felt that the group needed to develop a concrete organization, along with policies, procedures, controls, and bylaws. At the beginning of the next semester, a new team was selected to begin the next term and a second presentation to the Foundation was made.

On January 29, 1993, the new SEED team presented their improved proposal, which was met with overwhelming success, and the team was granted $1 million. The Virginia Tech Foundation took great pride providing the students this opportunity. On February 5, 1993, all of the hard work over the past two years paid off, and the funds were made available for investment.

On November 29, 1995, Lori Ratliff, Jeff Herd, Hollie Anderson, and Kevin Rogers presented a proposal to the Foundation’s Investment Committee to request additional funding of $2 million. The Committee was impressed with SEED’s early progress and granted an additional $1 million to manage. With the additional $1 million, SEED became the third largest student-run investment portfolio in the country. The two larger funds, Ohio State University and Southern Methodist University, are run in conjunction with undergraduate and graduate classes. Therefore, SEED is now the largest student-run investment portfolio in the country that is run as an extracurricular activity.

SEED was formed as a result of the vision of Dr. Chance. His vision was to allow the students of Virginia Tech to have unparalleled opportunities to make investment decisions in managing an actual portfolio. SEED strives to utilize an innovative structure by offering membership opportunities to students in all disciplines. SEED’s mission is to allow students at Virginia Tech an opportunity to gain experience in the practicalities of managing a commercial entity by participating in the management of the Virginia Tech Foundation’s Consolidated Endowment Account. We continue to maintain the high standard of excellence that has been outlined in the past.