Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

PierceJumping off a figurative cliff without a safety net is not easy. While there is huge risk, there may be huge rewards.

Certainly, this was true of the Pilgrims when they boarded the Mayflower for the new world. And it was also true of one of the descendants of those early settlers, Frederick W. Pierce IV ('84, Finance, '88 M.B.A.), over three centuries later when he made the decision to quit his job and start a new company with only the promise of a 90-day consulting job and not much more.

In the end, the Pilgrims' risky decision to settle in the New World brought freedom and prosperity to many in the generations that followed, including Pierce. He took a chance and began his company, Pierce Education Properties (PEP), based solely on the shortterm contract offered by the SDSU Foundation.

Pierce says he has SDSU to thank for helping him to make good business decisions. "SDSU taught me sound business fundamentals in many key disciplines and I have used that practical knowledge continuously throughout my career," he said.

While the business skills Pierce learned at SDSU have served him well in his career, he has also served the university where, for the past 25 years, he has volunteered for many of SDSU's foundations and boards. He was also a member of the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees for six years and currently serves as the chairman for the Fowler College of Business' Board of Directors. Pierce was rewarded for his service when he was recognized in 1999 with the Monty Award, which is SDSU's highest alumni honor.

In addition to his years of service, Fred and his wife Christine have been long-time supporters of several areas within the university including Fowler College of Business, Alumni Association and Athletics. In order to enhance their support of these areas and establish support for Greek Life Leadership Programs, Fred and Christine have made a generous planned gift. Fred believes that investing in SDSU has been one for the best financial decisions he has made. Fred elaborates on this by saying going to SDSU, "...was the best decision of my life and I want to be able to help make that a reality for as many future students as we can. SDSU is a school of hard knocks...the students are actually really smart, but typically not privileged. Rather, they are hungry, assertive, resourceful... the kind of people you want on your team."

As a savvy businessman, active alumnus and generous philanthropist, Pierce encourages today's SDSU students to stay connected after they graduate. "I have developed a tremendous network of friends and business colleagues through my support for SDSU and I would recommend that current students should stay connected to the university and to classmates after graduation," he advised. "SDSU will keep on adding value to your life if you stay connected and let it!"