Barton School alums pave the way to launch a $500,000 student-managed investment fund


Wichita State alums Erin & Kyle Cummings have donated $250,000 to launch the W. Frank Barton School of Business Student-Managed Investment Fund. The generous contribution will provide students with new applied learning opportunities as they invest real money in stocks, bonds and more. The remaining $250,000 will be reallocated from existing WSU Foundation and Alumni Engagement (WSUFAE) investments to support this initiative.

“This is experiential learning at the highest level,” said Larisa Genin, dean of the Barton School. “I want to personally thank Barton School Alums Erin and Kyle for making this possible. The student-managed investment fund will provide our current students with unmatched applied education. And, as the portfolio grows, so will the opportunities for future Barton endeavors.”  The fund’s investment strategy and decisions will be managed in collaboration with the students, an industry advisor and the WSUFAE investment committee.  “Long-term, this program will teach students how to research companies, track financial performance and make fiscally responsible investment decisions,” said Genin.  

Proceeds from the portfolio will be reinvested into the program, with a percentage going to develop student experience and success initiatives further. The Barton School will also host guest speakers to share insights with students on investing and portfolio management. 

“Providing students with the educational groundwork and opportunity to make actionable decisions is so important to their development at Wichita State and, ultimately, their career growth,” said Elizabeth King, president and CEO of WSUFAE. “Students now have a learning experience where they can explore and embrace their interest in finance on a different level.”  

For Erin and Kyle Cummings, this program is another opportunity to give back to the university and the Barton School. “We are very intentional about making a positive impact on the lives of others,” they said. “This investment fund is truly an investment in these students. The Barton School shaped our lives, and we hope we can help shape even more students with this opportunity.”

Along with contributing to the investment fund program that bears their name, the two also helped create the Women for Women’s Innovation Fund, which supports women leaders and entrepreneurs at WSU. The Cummings both graduated in 2009 from the Barton School and currently live in Houston, Texas. Erin, who also serves as the president of the Barton School’s Alumni Council, is the co-founder and owner of YESyoga, a luxury yoga studio that provides yoga and lifestyle practices that builds healthy whole body habits.  Kyle is a Senior Trader at Vitol, which is one of the leading energy and commodities companies.  

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