We’ve had an exceptionally productive year and we are pleased to share our key milestones and highlights, as well as recent leadership updates. Thank you to the many alumni, board members and friends who have supported our outstanding students and the Wisconsin Real Estate Program.
- Dr. Vallabh Sambamurthy is the new Nicholas Dean of the Wisconsin School of Business beginning Aug. 1. Dr. Sambamurthy, who goes by “Samba”, served as Eli Broad Professor and Associate Dean of the MBA and professional master’s programs for the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.
- Mark Eppli (PhD ‘91, MS ‘84, and BBA ‘83) joined the Center as Director last fall. Mark was an experienced and highly regarded professor and administrator at Marquette University. He has presented at numerous industry and academic conferences this year and has made significant progress in disseminating applied commercial real estate research to industry groups, government organizations, academia, and among our students. He is also collaborating with alumni to develop a direct private equity investment course which includes a student-run private equity fund whose mission will be to invest outside capital in an educational setting to deliver real returns for investors.
- Greg Reed (BBA ’83, MS ’88) joined the Center as Associate Director. He is focusing on recruiting and career services for the Real Estate MBA and MS Programs and is developing a plan to expand the Center’s role in applied learning and career services for real estate undergraduate students. He brings diverse real estate experience to the position. Most recently, he worked as Vice President and Senior Credit Officer at Moody’s Investors Service in New York City.
Milestones and Highlights
- New Real Estate MS Program starts this fall! We are excited to have 7 students enrolled to begin the new Real Estate MS program this fall. We expect to more than double this enrollment by next year. The new MS degree adds to the Wisconsin Real Estate Program’s menu of curricular offerings, which already include three real estate-focused degrees: BBA, a management-focused MBA, and PhD in Real Estate.
- An innovative Direct Private Equity Investment Course for students is under development: This will be an a student-run private equity fund whose mission will be to invest outside capital in an educational setting to deliver real returns for investors.
- #1 Public Real Estate Program – US News & World Report Ranking: The Wisconsin Undergraduate Real Estate Program was ranked #1 public real estate program in the country, #2 overall, in 2018 among a competitive field of approximately 67 undergraduate real estate programs in the country.
- Record Enrollment: We have a record 465 real estate students enrolled this fall – including 20 MBA students, 6 Global Real Estate Master students, and 439 undergraduates. Additionally, the Real Estate Process course (RE306) has more than 600 students this year, which is a remarkable level of interest. All our courses are filled to capacity.
- Strong Job Placement: First-year MBA students had 100% internship placement and the MBA Class of 2019 had 80% full-time job placement. In addition, nearly 200 real estate undergraduate and MBA students met with companies for internships and full-time employment at the Real Estate Club’s annual career fair.
- Record Board Growth: Led by Irgens Executive Director Michael Brennan, the Graaskamp Center team implemented a highly successful board recruitment and retention campaign this year with an emphasis on improving diversity. A record 27 new real estate leaders joined the Graaskamp Center Board of Advisors since our spring meeting, bringing us to a record 145 members.
- Student AREIT Team Beats Benchmark: The 2018-19 AREIT team outperformed the RMS by 131 bps (1.31%) and exhibited a total return of 15.53% by the end of the academic year. The endowment balance of the fund now exceeds $1.75 million after payment of all associated expenses.
- Expanded Portfolio of Case Competitions: Students now have the opportunity to explore a wider variety of real estate markets, including the US and Canada. Students took 2nd place in the very competitive UNC-Chapel Hill Real Estate Challenge and at the Ryerson Case Competition. We thank the Bascom Group for their support of our case competitions.
- Students to Receive $131,325 in Financial Aid for 2019-20: The Wisconsin Real Estate Program awarded BBA, MS and MBA students a total of $131,325 in the form of scholarships, fellowships, and teaching assistantships.
- Mentor Program is Going Strong: Approximately 100 dedicated alumni signed up to mentor our real estate undergraduate and MBA students last year. Many alumni mentors have participated for multiple years in the program.
- Global Focus: Second-year MBA students traveled to Hong Kong and Macau, where they immersed themselves in a mix of seminars and presentations on the local real estate market, site visits to local real estate developments, and meetings with industry executives. They also traveled to Cannes, France to attend MIPIM in March.