The University of Tulsa’s Friends of Finance to celebrate 40 years - The University of Tulsa
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The University of Tulsa’s Friends of Finance to celebrate 40 years

Mike Neal, Kathy Taylor, Jared Peterson, Roberta Preston

The University of Tulsa announces that the Collins College of Business’ Friends of Finance will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2024-25. A unique concept in higher education, this community-based group encompasses a college advisory board, monthly networking events for area business leaders, students, and alumni, as well as a scholarship fund. Since its inception, organizers of the program have built a student-managed investment fund, which at times has reached $8 million and has paid out $1 million in scholarships to over 200 students.

“The Friends of Finance is a unique group that has worked tirelessly to support students through real-world experience and financial aid for four decades,” said Kathy Taylor, Genave King Rogers Dean of TU’s Collins College of Business. “I am proud to have been a part of this valuable organization and thrilled to see it mark this milestone as we look ahead to the next 40 years of sharing knowledge and networking as we further advance the university’s highly regarded School of Finance & Operations Management.”

In 1985, three TU finance alumni, Bob Prince (BSBA ’81, MBA ’85), Bruce Currie (BSBA ’81), and Bob Harrison (MBA ’73), and two faculty members, Mark Collins and Roger Bey, met to discuss how to support the Department of Finance and how the department could better serve TU’s finance alumni and the Tulsa business community. From that meeting, the Friends of Finance was born.

Today, Friends of Finance is a strong organization that bolsters the School of Finance & Operations Management, specifically, and TU’s Collins College of Business, more generally. The Friends of Finance Executive Speaker Series draws nationally prominent business and public leaders to address a lunch-hour crowd on campus each month during the academic year. This exceptional opportunity to learn from seasoned professionals is free to current students.

T.D. Eureste

ONEOK Vice President T.D. Eureste, who will serve as the 2024-25 Friends of Finance president, emphasized how uncommon this type of organization is and that it should serve as a model for other universities seeking to make a difference in students’ lives. Taylor noted that in the 2024 accreditation report, the AACSB recognized Friends of Finance as an innovative and successful way to engage students and graduates.

“I encourage Collins College students, alumni, and university friends as well as other local and regional leaders of business and industry, to take part in Friends of Finance,” Eureste said. “In addition to raising funds, our members serve as mentors and role models for TU students and often are able to hire the college’s best and brightest because we get to know the students long before they graduate.”

Friends of Finance is composed of business professionals, TU alumni, and other supporters of Collins College of Business. Program participants share a passion for business and are committed to helping The University of Tulsa maintain national prominence. In addition, Friends of Finance provides a forum where business professionals, many of them TU alumni, can network and share perspectives.

Speakers have included board chairs, presidents and CEOs from Bank One, Walmart, Bank of America, Southwest Airlines, AT&T, State Farm, Williams, ONEOK, ConocoPhillips, Halliburton, Sonic, QuikTrip, Love’s Travel Stops, and many other major companies and organizations.

In addition to raising millions of dollars for finance students and others in Collins College, the Friends of Finance donated more than $100,000 to upgrade technology in the business school at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed a seamless experience for all students in the college.

Roberta Preston, longtime Friends of Finance board member and former CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma, is chairing the 40th anniversary committee. “I personally share my gratitude for all of the executives, alumni, and scholars who have given so generously to this great cause,” she said. “We are excited to offer the highest caliber of speakers and programs during this celebratory year. The coming year will be the best yet.”

Friends of Finance events in 2024-25 will include Student Investment Fund challenge events, which are open to college and high school students each fall and spring, as well as the popular monthly networking luncheons.

The Friends of Finance sponsors and event attendees are the driving force behind everything the group has been able to accomplish throughout the past four decades. To find out more about how to become a part of Friends of Finance, please email