Alumnus brings investment experience to the classroom 

One of the first professors to teach in McLennan College Hall’s new Cell Finance Lab is Rick Long ’82, a former student of Don Cell. 

Rick Long '82 shared his expertise in a Block 3 Finance course he taught in the newly renovated McLennan College Hall.
Rick Long ’82 shared his expertise in a Block 3 Finance course he taught in the newly renovated McLennan College Hall.

As an economics and business major in the earliest years of One Course At A Time, Long studied with the late professor Cell and others in the department. Following a career in investment portfolio management and a decade teaching at Drake University, Long returned to campus this fall to lead an upper level Block 3 Investments course.

Long worked in investment portfolio management for 25 years, the majority with Principal in Des Moines, Iowa. Along the way he earned a master’s degree in finance from the University of Iowa and worked for several years each in Hong Kong and London before taking up teaching at Drake.

Long’s practical experience in the field appealed to students.

“Learning from someone who has a lot of experience in the investment world has been great for me and my classmates,” said junior Will Miller. “It has allowed us to ask questions about markets and how investment companies actually operate in the real world. Professor Long has been able to provide us with valuable knowledge that we can bring into the workforce and even utilize for our own personal finance purposes.” 

Not only that, the Cell Finance Lab itself gave the illusion of being in the workplace, Miller said: “During every class, the live ticker board sits above us and provides current market data. It really makes you feel like you’re on Wall Street.”

Long was equally impressed by his students: “I’m really struck by how pleasant and engaged they are. And their writing skills are awesome.”

Coming back as a professor gave him a new appreciation for not just the campus but the faculty as well.

“I have a lot of appreciation for people who teach on the block plan. Usually on the semester plan you have a day break between classes to prepare. Here every day you’re in class,” he noted. “It’s been a good experience. It’s really fun but it’s a lot of work.”

He enjoyed his time on campus this fall as the Hilltop colors were  at their peak. Even his wife, Annie Ross Long ’83, joined him in faculty housing for several weeks. Now they’ll return to Des Moines with new memories of Cornell and leave behind a wealth of information for students ready to achieve their finance goals.