by Sarah Small
For many, many years, ILLINOIS has distinguished itself with a prestigious real estate program that has produced leaders in the field and attracted nationwide attention. Each year, the Chicago Chapter of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors choose one ILLINOIS student as recipient of the organization’s scholarship, which was founded with the help of Finance Professor Roger Cannaday and College of Business alumnus Donald W. Schaumberger in 1984. Schaumberger was president of the Chicago Chapter at that time and later became chairman of the Board of Colliers, Bennett & Kahnweiler, a major international real estate firm.
This year’s scholarship recipient is Briana Dunne, a senior in finance with a concentration in real estate. Her name has been added to the plaque displayed in the Office of Real Estate Research as the most “outstanding undergraduate student in real estate” for 2010-2011. She plans to take advantage of the SIOR scholarship to network with the Chicago real estate community and become involved in a professional real estate society.
“I thought it would be a great opportunity to get involved with an organization that I would like to be a part of in my career,” Dunne said.
Coming from a family background in real estate, Dunne enrolled at ILLINOIS knowing she wanted to concentrate her studies in this field, but it was not until she arrived that she discovered just how celebrated the real estate program was at the University. For many years the College of Business real estate program has been rated as one of the top ten real estate programs by U.S. News & World Report.
For Dunne, the program’s greatest strength is that it provides practical opportunities and lessons to the students.
“It brings together the classroom and the outside world,” she said. “In real estate there is so much more to learn outside the classroom.”
She describes the real estate industry as being one that is very people oriented, and said it is crucial to develop relationships with leaders in the industry. Thanks to a consistently strong real estate program, ILLINOIS has produced many leaders in the field who are very interested and involved in the University. Many of the alumni, who are real estate leaders in Chicago, visit campus often to stay involved with the students and events taking place on campus, which keeps the alumni connected and gives the students the opportunity to network.
“I think they come here because they know the students are very interested in real estate, here,” Dunne said. “They’re passionate and they want ILLINOIS students to be passionate, too.”