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USD Real Estate Endowment Goes to Charles Tu

EDUCATION: Knauss School Endowment Named for Major Donor Steven L. Black

SAN DIEGO – The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate and the University of San Diego’s Knauss School of Business have established an endowed chair in real estate, appointing Charles Tu, PhD as its first holder.

Charles Tu
Academic Director
Master of Real Estate Program
University of San Diego

“It’s not just about me. It’s a recognition of the quality of our real estate program,” said Tu, director of the Master of Science in Real Estate program at the University of San Diego’s (USD) Knauss School of Business.

Tu oversees the real estate program at the university’s Knauss School of Business and was instrumental in starting the university’s real estate major in 2009.

The endowment was named for Steven L. Black, chairman of Cisterra Partners and a major donor to the center’s Campaign for Student Success that raised $11.8 million for student scholarships and programs to recruit and retain faculty, besting the original goal of $10 million.

The center allocated $3.1 million of the money raised in the campaign to increase the endowment funds in support of real estate faculty.

Steven L. Black
Chairman
Cisterra Partners

The Steven L. Black Endowed Chair in Real Estate is the second endowed chair within the Knauss School of Business real estate program, along with an endowed professorship. The university has 11 endowed chairs.

Black, who helped lead the Campaign for Student Success and is a member of the Burnham-Moores Center’s policy advisory board, said that the endowment is meant to acknowledge the person appointed to the chair, but it also “acknowledges the strength of the reputation of the program, and I hope it will help attract faculty and students for years to come.”

Generous Gift Enables Ability to Attract Talent

Black traces his interest in supporting education to his mother, who was a teacher in Central California.

“For many years after she retired, a group of her former students would take her to lunch every year. She made a difference to them when they were growing up, and they never forgot it,” Black said.

At Black’s request, the amount of Black’s donation to the Campaign for Student Success wasn’t disclosed.

Stath Karras
Executive Director
Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate

“Steve’s generous gift gives us the ability to attract top talent to join our successful USD real estate program. Great faculty have been instrumental in creating growth in the program and great faculty will be key to maintaining its high quality,” said Stath Karras, executive director of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

“We have built strong partnerships with the real estate industry over the years. Industry support from donors, like Steve, enables our center to execute our mission, to provide our students with unparalleled education, career support, and open doors to career opportunities after graduation,” Karras said.

The endowment awarded Tu “recognizes him as a top faculty member in our real estate program,” Karras said. “He is well connected to the industry. He, like a lot of our faculty, is involved in a lot of the real estate trade organizations. He’s gone above and beyond what you might see typically.”

Tu said the endowment “will allow me to be an active participant in the industry’s activities to bring the current knowledge and practices back to the classroom.”

“I feel so proud to be part of this (real estate) program and continuing to see its growth,” Tu said, adding that the Burnham-Moores Center sets itself apart from real estate programs elsewhere by sponsoring real estate forums and panels where students can meet and connect with experts in the field who become mentors.

“We produce high quality graduates who become leaders in this industry,” Tu said.

The real estate program at the Knauss School of Business was founded in 1993 and a $5 million gift in 2004 named and endowed the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

As of May, the real estate program had 359 undergraduate majors, 90 undergraduate minors and 61 students in the Master of Science in Real Estate program.

Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate / University of San Diego Knauss School of Business
FOUNDED: The Burnham-Moores Center was endowed in 2004 to support the real estate program, which commenced in 1993
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Stath Karras
HEADQUARTERS: University of San Diego, Linda Vista
BUSINESS: Education
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: The BMC employs 8 full-time employees who support 4 full-time real estate faculty and 11 adjunct instructors
WEBSITE: www.usdrealestate.com
NOTABLE: As of May 2024, the BMC team supports 359 real estate majors; 90 real estate minors; and 61 Master of Science in Real Estate graduate students.

 

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