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Endowment seeks to keep real estate students around town.

Byline: Molly M. Fleming

EDMOND The director of the state's only higher-education real estate program is trying to make surestudents continue to have money to learn about the industry.

At the University of Central Oklahoma College of Business, professor David Chapman is starting an endowment for the real estate program. He's been teaching the program for eight years, but as the student enrollment has grown, his budget has decreased.

The state once provided about 75 percent of the funding to higher education. With the continued budget cuts, the state provides about 26 percent of funding to higher education.

"We don't get the funding necessary to do what we want to do in the program," Chapman said.

He would like to take more students to events like the Urban Land Institute's national conference or the National Association of Realtors' annual conference.

"We have a ton of conferences we'd like to attend," he said. "But we don't have the funds in order to send students."

UCO alumna Brooke Mortimer said it wasthose kinds of events that helped her get a job with one of the most known developers in Oklahoma City, Gary Brooks. She is the planning and development manager for Brooks' company, Cornerstone Development.

She said through her participation in UCO's Real Estate Club, she was able to sit down for dinner with developers Richard McKown and Blair Humphreys, and city planning attorney Leslie Batchelor. They all traveled together to a national ULI event in Chicago. Mortimer said it was a privilege to be able to meet such influential people in the city's real estate industry, and it's through Chapman that these meetings are able to happen.

She met her future employer, Brooks, when he spoke to the Real Estate Club.

"It was truly a launching pad to start my career," she said.

She said she doesn't think she could have had this same exposure in a regular business program. Another professor, John Maisch, talked about his real-life experience working with the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission.

Chapman said he wants to make sure these opportunities are available to students even after he's no longer involved with the program.He said he's hopeful that the city's real estate professionals will step up and take care of their own.

"We need to sustain our workforce in the appraisal, property management, property brokerageareas," he said. "Those industries need to help me. That's what I'm pleading."

His goal is to raise $100,000 for the endowment fund. For every $25,000, he gets $1,000 in interest. He can spend only the interest money. He'd like to give two $1,000 scholarships to students this year.

He is hosting a kickoff event for the endowment onWednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at theUniversity of Central Oklahoma Boathouse in the Oklahoma City Boathouse District. Donations can be made at the door. The UCO Jazz Labis providing entertainment, and drinks andhors d'oeuvres will be served.

Mortimer said the program is already having an effect in the city. Through Chapman's work in exposing the students to developers and planners, they're learning there's work to be done here.

"Students used to leave as soon as they could and go to the coast," she said. "I think by having young students start to get invested in the city, it creates a love for Oklahoma City and they want to stay. A majority of my friends are working in the city and working around the city. It's not that they have opportunities somewhere else. They choose to stay here."

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Publication:Journal Record (Oklahoma City, OK)
Date:Sep 14, 2018
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