The Power of Giving

Applied Portfolio Management Program

Michigan Tech’s Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP) exemplifies the giving cycle, or the transformational impact of a gift from the donors to the benefactors.

When Professor Dean Johnson came to the School of Business and Economics at Michigan Tech in 1998, he had a vision for the APMP—a multidisciplinary course where student firms would receive real-world portfolio investment experience. Enter James (Jim) ’67 and Dolores (Dee) Trethewey, who have supported APMP from day one.

An alumnus of the business administration program, Mr. Trethewey valued giving back to Michigan Tech. “It’s very important to remember those things that contributed to your success as you go along this trail of life,” he said in an interview in September 2013, approximately one month before he passed away on Oct. 13. The Tretheweys established scholarship funds to support the APMP start-up, and later endowed the James and Dolores Trethewey professorship, to which Johnson was named in 2012.

The Tretheweys, as well as Gene Klippel, former dean of the School of Business and Economics, were instrumental in getting the APMP off the ground, according to Johnson: “The dean, dean’s advisory board, and the Tech Fund took a leap of faith to start the program and let students manage the funds. It really was a visionary program.”

Joe ’76 and Vickey Dancy carried on the tradition of alumni giving in 2011, providing APMP students with a modern trading room and industry-standard technology. The LSGI Trading Room boasts a $25,000 per year Bloomberg Machine (one of only two in the Upper Peninsula), which is used not only for trading but also for its job-matching feature.

These donors have invested in something that’s bound to pay out significant returns for years to come, regardless of the state of the economy or stock market: education. APMP’s ROI are both monetary and intangible. From its modest $20,000 beginnings, the APMP portfolio has grown to $1.3 million. Students manage scholarship accounts for the School of Business and Economics, furthering financial aid opportunities for future students. And then there’s the award-winning APMP director, Johnson.

“When I walk into the classroom, I have an hour to make a difference in the lives of those students,” said Johnson. “I try to find out where they’re from and what career goals they have. Once you develop a personal relationship, it becomes much easier to push them to learn because they realize I have their best interest at heart.”

Read on to learn more about the APMP and how the giving cycle continues.