Following a generous alumnus donation, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management will widen the reach of its real estate program to include Northwestern undergraduate students for the first time starting in fall 2022.
In collaboration with Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the business programs will leverage a $2 million gift from Ian Sanders ‘91 to create new courses and professional development opportunities to strengthen this core focus at the University.
“I am eager to see Northwestern incorporate real estate into its undergraduate curriculum,” Sanders, Founder & Principal of Fifteen Group, a real estate-focused private investment firm that he started with his brother Mark in 1992, said in a statement. “I hope this gift will provide students with the tools and resources they need to excel in high-level professional and managerial careers in the industry.”
The opportunities are designed to mold a new generation of real estate professionals with strong analytical skills and broad perspectives on macro and urban economics, according to a press release from the university.
Beyond new coursework to provide exposure to the fundamental concepts, principles, analytical methods and tools for making investment and financing decisions in real estate, Sanders’ gift will establish the Fifteen Group Real Estate Fellows Program. Starting spring 2023, each year, 15 undergraduate students will be selected for the fellowship, which will offer professional development within the real estate ecosystem.
The new curriculum will be offered in two capacities intended to appeal to a range of students. According to the press release, courses in real estate finance and investment will be added to the curriculum of the minor in business institutions offered by Weinberg College’s Harvey Kapnick Center for Business Institutions as well as to Kellogg’s Financial Economics Certificate available to undergraduates.
“Real estate is a fast-growing area of interest among undergraduate students at Weinberg College and throughout Northwestern, and we in the Kapnick Center for Business Institutions look forward to partnering with Kellogg to bring this new dimension to our business education offerings,” Bill Rogerson, the director of Northwestern’s Harvey Kapnick Center for Business Institutions, said in a statement.
Real estate has been a key focus area of Kellogg’s programming, and the Guthrie Center for Real Estate Research, which is housed at Kellogg, is dedicated to supporting and fostering the continuing education of real estate professionals. Beyond Kellogg’s experiential learning opportunities in real estate, students can also participate in student-led extracurriculars including the Kellogg Real Estate Club.
As a result of Sanders’ gift, undergraduate students can now have the same perks as those partaking in the MBA program, according to Director of the Guthrie Center for Real Estate Research Efraim Benmelech.
“Kellogg has a long history of leadership in real estate education and in training MBA students to secure jobs at top real estate firms,” he said. “We are eager to expand those benefits to Northwestern students.”