Real Estate Center at DePaul Lands $2 Million Gift from Former Equity Residential Properties Trust CEO Douglas Crocker II.
The Real Estate Center at DePaul University in Chicago has received a $2 million gift from Douglas Crocker II, retired president and chief executive officer of Equity Residential Properties Trust, and his wife, Cynthia. The gift will fund the directorship of the center, which manages DePaul's wide-ranging and highly respected real estate education, research and professional development programs. With the gift, DePaul Finance Professor Susanne Cannon, who founded the center in 2002, becomes the Douglas and Cynthia Crocker Endowed Director of the Real Estate Center at DePaul.
"After working with Susanne, I knew that we were on the right track to develop a top-notch program at DePaul," Crocker said. "Education is the door to opportunity and I am proud to help support the Real Estate Center."
Crocker has been engaged personally with the work of the center since its founding, according to Cannon. "He has co-taught advanced real estate investment MBA courses with me for three years, served on the committee that selects grants for case studies, mentored researchers and been a key advisor on the center's direction and strategies," she said. "As a nationally recognized leader in the real estate investment trust and multi-housing industries, he has been a remarkable asset for us. We are extremely grateful for the time, expertise and resources he has devoted to the center."
The gift funds the directorship in perpetuity. "This generous gift from the Crockers will have an enduring, positive impact on the center, and we anticipate that it will act as a catalyst for others to donate to this important initiative," said Mary C. Finger, DePaul senior vice president for advancement. Since it was founded three years ago, the center has attracted more than $1.6 million in operational funding from 40 sponsoring real estate executives and institutions, in addition to the Crockers' $2 million gift.
A Harvard graduate with more than 30 years of experience in the real estate business, Crocker is one of the founding sponsors of the Real Estate Center and an executive-in-residence in the university's finance department. He retired in January of 2003 as CEO of Equity Residential, the largest apartment real estate investment trust (REIT) in the country. During the previous decade, Crocker and the company's chairman, financier Sam Zell, increased the REIT's national apartment holdings from 20,000 to 200,000 units. Crocker remains active in the REIT and multi-family housing fields, serving on numerous boards and association committees.
Cynthia Crocker graduated from Northern Illinois University with a marketing degree and worked for Zell from 1987 to 2003. She currently is senior vice president for investor relations and corporate communications for Equity Residential and Manufactured Home Communities. The Crockers live in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago.
Cannon has been the director of the Real Estate Center since its inception. She earned her doctoral degree at the University of Texas and has taught real estate analysis and investment at DePaul for 15 years. She is the co-author of "Modern Real Estate," a leading textbook on real estate principles, and a two-term president of the Chicago chapter of Lambda Alpha International, a national land economics society.
Earlier this year Cannon was admitted to membership as a Weimer fellow of the prestigious Homer Hoyt Advanced Studies Institute. Her research focuses on the impact of technology on real estate analysis, practice and teaching, REIT corporate governance, zoning and land use.
Located in the DePaul Center, 1 E. Jackson Blvd., the Real Estate Center at (http://realestate.depaul.edu/) is the premier home for professional real estate education in the Midwest, offering the most comprehensive array of real estate courses available in Chicago. It oversees traditional academic programs through DePaul's finance department, as well as continuing education. Three degree programs - an undergraduate major, an MBA concentration, and a new master of science in real estate - are available to prepare students for a wide range of careers in the brokerage, consulting, development, institutional investment, finance, planning, real estate law, asset management, lending and construction fields. The center also provides networking opportunities, conferences and research tailored to the interests of the real estate community. Recent center-sponsored programs have explored new Chicago zoning ordinances and trends in big-box retail real estate.
Editor's Note: To arrange interviews or obtain a digital photo of Cannon and the Crockers, contact Robin Florzak, DePaul Media Relations, at 312/362-8592 or firstname.lastname@example.org.