BROOKINGS – A new endowed professorship in the Ness School of Management and Economics has recently been gifted by a Bainbridge Island, Washington, couple to honor the education Everett DuBois received at South Dakota State University and as an investment in the faculty currently serving SDSU.
The Everett and Bernetta DuBois Endowed Professorship in Business Finance and Investments is the first endowed position established in the Ness School. Zhiguang “Gerald” Wang, who was recently promoted to full professor, has been selected as the inaugural recipient.
An endowed position is among the most prestigious recognitions afforded a faculty member. With the addition of the DuBois endowed professorship, SDSU now has commitments in place for 25 endowed positions.
“Endowed positions elevate the entire University and especially the faculty member selected to carry the honor of the title and receive the increased funding that supports the individual’s scholarly work,” President Barry Dunn said.
Everett DuBois came from a farm near Wolsey to SDSU in 1962 without a clear academic path in mind. Through the mentorship of Lymon “Smitty” Smythe and other faculty, Everett discovered an aptitude in investments, particularly in value and cost. He received his bachelor’s in 1966 and, with the support of a graduate assistantship, he completed his master’s in 1968.
While it had been many years since Everett had been on campus, it was during a visit in October 2019 that a spark ignited. Everett and his wife, Bernie, met Eluned Jones, director of the Ness School, in the lobby of the newly renovated Harding Hall. Bernie, an artist, was intrigued by the focal point of the lobby – Molly Wicks’ sculpture, “Connect. Interweave. Evolve.” The work depicts the transportation flows that are central to South Dakota’s economy.
They were then shown the First Dakota National Bank e-Trading Lab where students were gathered for a tutoring session by one of the lab’s teaching assistants on the simulated trading platform used in the Investments class.
“Some of our students struck up a conversation with Mr. and Mrs. DuBois, sharing the success they have had in national and international competitions, and it was their enthusiasm and appreciation for the guidance they receive from their faculty mentor and adviser, Dr. Wang, which I believe inspired this gift,” said Jones. “Everett and Bernie came away from that part of our tour impressed by the confidence and sophistication exhibited by the students and the experiential learning they are receiving through the Student Managed Investment Fund.”
The couple committed to support the position with an annual gift of $40,000 throughout their lifetime. A bequest gift is in place to fully endow it.
Wang joined SDSU in 2009 after graduating from Florida International University. A professor of finance, Wang currently teaches business finance, investments and Student Managed Investment Fund and coordinates the First Dakota National Bank e-Trading Education Lab. His research focuses on asset pricing and risk management in financial and agricultural commodity markets. He is particularly interested in volatility-related research.
Everett and Bernie DuBois met while they were both employed with the Great Northern Railroad in Minneapolis, and still consider themselves “farm kids” who have been fortunate to enjoy many journeys in their life together and have experienced a culturally full and diverse life. Everett retired as vice president and treasurer of Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Inc. in Houston. At the time, it was recognized as the nation’s largest independent oil and gas company.
The couple looks forward to returning to campus again for an investiture to officially honor and recognize Wang as the first recipient of the endowed professorship. Grateful for the benefit of technology, the couple enjoyed their very first Zoom video chat, which included Lynn Sargeant, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Jones and Wang in April.