As cofounder and chief investment officer of Kestrel Investment Management Corporation, Abbott J. Keller '72 has always taken a unique, value-oriented approach to investing. It's little wonder then that Keller and his wife Laura '71 chose to invest $1 million in the University of Oregon's Lundquist College of Business.
"If the University of Oregon were a stock, it would be a good investment. It's an undiscovered opportunity," said Abbott Keller. "The Lundquist College of Business puts out an amazingly high-quality product in its students. Its finance faculty members are very competent, dedicated, and passionate about what they do."
With their generous gift, the Keller's are advancing the notoriety of our finance department, which is among the very best in the nation, by creating the Abbott Keller Distinguished Research Scholar (a three year appointment) and two year-long Abbott Keller Research Fellows. These endowed positions will support the evolution of productive junior faculty members into senior faculty positions for the next three years. Eventually, the Keller's gift will revert to a more typical endowed professorship supporting a leading senior faculty member as the Laura and Abbott Keller Professor of Finance.
With the announcement of the gift, Assistant Professor Jonathan Reuter was named as the first Laura and Abbott Keller Distinguished Research Scholar, and Assistant Professor Roberto Gutierrez and Assistant Professor Woodrow Johnson were designated Abbott Keller Research Fellows.
"The Keller's gift allows me to focus much more on my research in the summer than I would otherwise be able to," said Reuter. "The extra money also allows me to travel, attend conferences, and interact more with the profession, and that additional knowledge definitely shows up in my teaching."
"It's important for the college to retain such outstanding junior faculty members to eventually replace top finance professors who are nearing retirement age," added Lundquist College of Business Dean James C. Bean. "Thanks to the wonderful support of the Kellers, we will be able to further enhance our reputation by attracting and retaining top finance scholars."