SMU Cox Announces the New Kitt Investing and Trading Center
The new Kitt Investing and Trading Center has been dedicated at the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at SMU on September 28, 2011 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 37-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 1,460-square-foot Kitt Investing and Trading Center contains a 136-foot 360-degree LED stock ticker, three video walls, 27 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.”
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