$1.5 Million Dollar Gift to Establish Endowed Chair in Finance in the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management

Sept. 2, 2020

Expanding their family tradition at the University of Arizona, Brian ('85) and Clara Franke have committed $1.5 million to support an endowed chair in the Department of Finance in the university's Eller College of Management.


The Brian and Clara Franke Endowed Chair in Finance will support an actively-teaching faculty member in the Department of Finance who is cultivating an innovative and dynamic work environment. The chair will also enhance the student experience through additional funding for class curriculum, travel awards and more. Paulo Goes, dean and Halle Chair in leadership in Eller, will appoint the chair in fiscal year 2021.

"We are extremely grateful to Clara and Brian for endowing a chair in finance," says University President Robert C. Robbins. "Their generosity and engagement have been integral in making the University of Arizona and the Eller College of Management thriving research entities."

Brian Franke is a partner in Indigo Partners, a private equity firm specializing in aviation investments. Previously, he was vice president of Franke & Company, a boutique private equity firm focused on small and medium enterprises investments. He is a UArizona alumnus.

"I look forward to seeing how this fund will not only transform the Department of Finance, but also the experience of students studying finance, says Brian Franke. "We know this has the potential to make long-lasting effects on Eller."

The gift will also be used to develop a new course titled, "Critical Thinking in International Finance," with a vision to use the fund for an international experience for a select group of students and to bring in guest speakers.

"This generous gift from the Frankes increases the effectiveness of what is already a notable finance program and illuminates our department's reputation as an exemplary standard of education," says Goes.

The fund will also provide Eller's Department of Finance the opportunity to better prepare students to excel in the world of finance—taking the field to new heights with industry collaboration and revolutionary research.

"Brian and Clara Franke are tremendous champions for education," said John-Paul Roczniak, president and CEO, University of Arizona Foundation. "I have the privilege of working with Brian in his role as a member of the foundation board, as well as an investment committee member. I am so proud to steward the gift he and Clara have made to the Eller College."

This story originally appeared on the Eller College of Management website.