The Department of Finance, Insurance and Law has a long history of encouraging students to be active learners, putting the concepts of finance and insurance to practical use for enhanced understanding. The Educational Investment Fund, a student-managed portfolio of equity shares, was established as a Clifford Trust in 1982 by a donor to the Illinois State University Foundation. The accumulated income and capital gains ($72,000 in 1992) was given as gift to the university and students in this Finance major elective have managed the equity portfolio ever since that time. The value of an equity analysis course for students expands greatly with the added opportunity to put course concepts into financial practice by managing an actual portfolio of securities – that is, linking theory with financial practice.
In 1986, the EIF program was one of seven outstanding programs in the United States selected for special commendation in the eighth annual competition for the G. Theodore Mitau Award for Innovation and Change in Higher Education, a nationwide competition under the direction of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Since that early recognition, the program has continued to offer a high-quality learning experience, and many of its alumni have achieved professional success in portfolio and investment management.