The year John C. Adams graduated from the University of Indianapolis, he took out an insurance policy with the intention of giving it back to the university later on, Adams said. On Sept. 27, Adams honored his intentions with the launch of the John C. Adams Finance Institute. The main goal was to enhance the student experience, according to Dean of the School of Business and Professor of Finance Larry Belcher.
The origins of the finance institute date back to 2018, when the SOB’s Martin Family Finance Lab was dedicated, according to Belcher. At a dinner the night before the dedication, Belcher said that he brought up the idea of the finance institute with Adams and said that Adams was excited about it.
When everything eventually came together, Adams said he told Belcher he wanted to help out with the institute. Associate Vice President of Development and University Advancement Stephanie Hays-Mussoni said that she played a role behind the scenes and that Chris Molloy, vice president of university advancement, took the lead in getting this institute off the ground. She said that Molloy helped support Belcher and Adams with everything they needed for the launch of the institute.
Adams said that he graduated from UIndy in 1973 with a degree in physics. He said that without an education from UIndy, his life would be different.
“UIndy gave me an opportunity…to live one kind of life versus a kind of life that I would not have been able to live if I hadn’t had the opportunity at UIndy,” Adams said. “That was a major point in my life.”
He said that while it was not his original intent, the feeling of having his name attached to a large part of the SOB was surreal.
Adams said that while he was a physics and math major during his time at UIndy, he made his career in business and finance. He said he tried to reinforce those areas during the discussions about the institute, and specifically what UIndy could do to try to receive more students who are interested in finance.
“Particularly [at] a school like this, which has a service orientation…you don’t always get finance and service in the same sentence,” Adams said. “But…if you do it right they can be.”
The finance institute was designed to help finance students begin field research, along with providing the support for them to compete in local and regional competitions, Belcher said.
One of the biggest missions for the institute is to better prepare students for a career, Belcher said. The institute will be led by Belcher, who has had past experience in opening and running finance institutes at other schools.
“This is something that I was involved in professionally for many years, and so this is an area in which I think I can give back to the institution,” Belcher said.
The decision to create the finance institute was driven mainly by the idea of enhancing student experiences, Belcher said.
“We want them to have the opportunity to do research and to do competitions to go out and test themselves against students from other institutions because that’s a great equalizer,” Belcher said.
With his experience, Belcher said that he understands what finance firms are looking for when it comes to hiring. He has published multiple articles in large research journals such as the “Journal of Behavioral Finance,” according to the SOB’s faculty webpage.
Adams said that the sooner students can leave UIndy ready to compete in the world, the better off the students will be.
“It took me a while after I got out of UIndy to feel like I can compete with anybody out there,” Adams said.