Former Texas Tech University Board of Regents Chairman James E. Sowell was instrumental
in establishing SMIF in 1997, having approved the management by students of $500,000
of endowment monies he gifted to the Texas Tech Foundation. Colonel Guy Cloud later
gifted $250,000 to the college for the same purpose.
Robert E. Brown, former trustee for the Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation and TTU
College of Business alumnus, was instrumental in funding, through the Valley Foundation,
much of the equipment and technology needs associated with SMIF. To honor Mr. Brown
after his death, the Valley Foundation endowed the Robert E. Brown Chair in Finance
with a gift of $3.5 million.