While spending the fall semester preparing for his final classes and retirement, Jerry Stevens also received one of the top awards in finance, a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Joint Financial Education Association (FEA) and the Academy of Business Education (ABE).

“The award is special because it represents recognition by academic peers at other universities for long standing work to elevate the role of financial education in our profession,” Stevens said. “It is unusual to receive recognition outside the university for academic contributions other than pure research.”

Stevens, a professor of finance in the Robins School, has spent years working with a small group of finance educators to establish a role for financial education research, tutorials, and special sessions at the Financial Management Association meetings. At the same time, he worked with Jean Heck, finance professor at Villanova University, to organize and promote financial education with the creation of the FEA and ABE along with the development of The Journal of Financial Education. He also has a long standing reputation for research, seminars, and assistance to other universities for developing a variety of student managed investment funds, including the one at the Robins School of Business, which he advises. 

“It is very satisfying to see the emergence of financial education as a focal point for serious academic research, pedagogical innovations, and sharing of best teaching practices,” Stevens said.

His passion for finance lies in the classroom, and Stevens says he will miss sharing his insights and research with students every day. But perhaps more than that, he will miss forming lifelong friendships with his students.

“I love sharing my enthusiasm for studying the dynamic nature of finance and the lifelong learning required to adapt to changing markets,” Stevens said. “Classroom interactions with students provides day-to-day satisfaction as an educator, but my favorite work with students revolves around longer term development and directions in their lives after college. I am most pleased by working with students in experiential learning, advising students on careers and interviews, engagements with former students, trips with students to New York City, and discussions with recruiters.”

Stevens has worked at the Robins School since 1987, and has devoted his time here to bringing finance research into the forefront of academia.

“My work with the finance community represents a laboratory where I work on bridging the gap between financial theory and practice,” Stevens said.  My work with troubled pension funds, fund managers, investment strategies, and bankruptcies of financial institutions offers real applications of finance that I bring back to the classroom.”

He credits the lifetime achievement award, though, to all the professors and colleagues whom he has worked with over the years to bring the Joint Financial Education Association (FEA) and the Academy of Business Education (ABE) to their current distinction. 

“The award is especially important to me because most of my associates in these efforts from the early years have now either retired or have passed away,” Stevens said. In many ways the award is a recognition of the collective work of these early contributors to financial education.”

Stevens is set to retire at the end of the 2019 calendar year after more than 30 years of service to the University. He has served as Joseph A. Jennings Endowed Chair of Business, faculty advisor to SMIF and the Finance Society, and has taught in the Robins School undergraduate, MBA, and executive education programs.