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Salem State Student Managed Investment Fund Yields First Scholarship

Salem, Mass. – Salem State University has awarded the first scholarship financed by an investment fund managed by students in the university’s Bertolon School of Business. The scholarship was designated to business administration major Erin Curristin ’25 of Dedham.

The ability to help a fellow student with the cost of attending college is among the benefits of Salem State’s Student Managed Investment Fund, which gives aspiring finance professionals real-world cash investment experience. The fund was launched in 2019 by founding donors Rob Lutts, a former Salem State trustee, and his wife Rachel Lutts ’98G and was later bolstered in 2022 by a gift from investment firm CEO and Giving Pledge philanthropist Mario J. Gabelli.

The scholarship, over $2,000, will be awarded by the Salem State University Foundation, Inc. annually to a BSB student.

“As a full-time college student, the impact of this award on me has been huge,” said Curristin, who is in her sophomore year. “I'm able to study in my business classes so that one day I can start a small business of my own.” 

The fund is overseen by students taking BSB’s individual projects in business administration class, in which they take on the roles of portfolio manager, chief analyst, analyst, and trustee.

“The Student Managed Investment Fund and resulting scholarship support is an example of how the generosity of donors can open doors for our students and advance careers,” said Cheryl Webster Crounse, vice president of advancement and executive director of the Salem State University Foundation, Inc. “When supporters invest in our students, they are investing in opportunities and experiences that have an ongoing, positive impact for years to come.”

“Rachel and I are thrilled to see the impact of our gift,” said Rob Lutts. “The fund allows students to grow their investment expertise and paves the way for a career in finance, and with this scholarship, they are able to further support a fellow Bertolon School of Business student. It's an all-around win for all involved. We are pleased to have been the catalyst to begin this.”

The creation of the Student Managed Investment Fund is part of the Lutts’ ongoing commitment to providing Salem State students with hands-on investment experience. In 2019, the Lutts’ support also launched the Bertolon School of Business’ Cabot Wealth Management Lab, which includes 12 Bloomberg terminals to give students access to the data and tools used by investment professionals, something vital to the success of the Student Managed Investment Fund.

“This is philanthropy coming full circle,” said Raminder Luther, dean of the Bertolon School of Business. “We’re grateful to Rob and Rachel Lutts and Mario Gabelli for their generosity, providing experiential opportunities to our students through the Student Managed Investment Fund and ultimately benefiting future business students through financial aid.”



About Salem State University

Salem State University, established in 1854, is a comprehensive, public institution of higher learning located approximately 15 miles north of Boston, Massachusetts. One of the largest state universities in the Commonwealth, Salem State enrolls about 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It offers 32 undergraduate programs and graduate programs that offer degrees in 24 fields. The university also has a continuing education division that offers both credit and non-credit programs. Salem State proudly participates in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement and has shown a student voting rate above the national average, earning it a Silver Seal from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. In 2020, Salem State received Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. The university is designated a Best for Vets College by Military Times.   


About Salem State University Foundation

The Salem State University Foundation, Inc. was founded in 1977 as a 501(c)(3) private, not-for-profit organization. In partnership with Salem State University, the foundation engages our community, inspires philanthropy and stewards resources to invest in student success. In so doing, the foundation provides the opportunity to meet the needs of the Salem State community not met through public funding.


Corey Cronin
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