Students meet business icon Buffett
Oct. 20, 2008 - Twenty-seven College of Business students spent Friday with billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
FSU was one of six schools invited to meet Buffett in Omaha, Nebraska, and spend time in a question-and-answer session with the famous chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway, a diversified holding company. Forbes magazine named Buffett the nation's wealthiest person earlier this year.
"He's unusually humble and down-to-earth for a man of his caliber," said Charlette Livingston, an MBA student chosen to participate. Students also were treated to lunch by Buffett at a local steakhouse and toured two Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries, Nebraska Furniture Mart and Borsheims.
"I was most impressed by the candor of Warren Buffett's responses during the question and answer session," said Paul "Chris" Grunewald, an MBA student. "Mr. Buffett has the uncanny ability to opine on a wide range of topics concerning finance and business evaluation."
Students applied for the trip opportunity. The college required student participants to have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.8, and the application submitted included a resume and a statement describing professional goals and extracurricular activities. A faculty committee made the selections.
"We had a great trip," said Glenn Boggs, a business law professor who led the group of undergraduate and graduate students. "You can string some superlatives together – fantastic, informational, informative … more than that, it was really, really interesting." He was impressed by Buffett’s obvious intellect and humor and emphasis on the importance of ethics in business decisions.
Lauren Turner, another MBA student participant, said it was interesting to learn how little material possessions mean to Buffett.
"He really believes in using his money for good and feels the best way to do that is by finding valid and trustworthy foundations to donate toward," Turner said. "That was refreshing to hear from a man who could be frivolously spending money on pretty much anything he wants."
Other schools participating included Saint Louis University, Tulane University, the University of Iowa, the University of Missouri and the University of New Orleans. Boggs said the college is grateful to Bill Smith, CEO of Capital City Bank, who spent time helping to coach students before their trip.
Contact: Glenn Boggs, business law professor
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For more information about the College of Business, please go to www.cob.fsu.edu.
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