Published on March 13, 2018 by Morgan Black  
vernon smith

Samford University’s Brock School of Business hosted Nobel Prize winner Vernon L. Smith as the keynote speaker for a recent Samford Professional Network event.

Smith received the Nobel Prize in 2002 in economic sciences for his work in experimental economics. He is a professor in both the Argyros School of Business and Economics and the Fowler School of Law at Chapman University, Orange, California. Smith completed his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, earned a master's degree in economics from the University of Kansas and completed his Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University.

Samford alumni, students and members of the Birmingham professional community were in attendance to hear from Smith about his economical analysis of housing in the United States and during the recession of the mid-2000s and how it compared to that of the Great Depression.

Brock School of Business Dean Howard Finch said, “Dr. Smith’s presentation highlighted the key connection between household balance sheets and housing values. His remarks were both interesting and educational, and highlighted for the audience the critical role that debt financing plays in macroeconomic performance.” 

Joy Buchanan, assistant professor of quantitative analysis and economics, secured Smith’s attendance for the event. She studied under Smith during her time at Chapman University where she received her undergraduate and master’s degrees. Additionally, Buchanan contributed to Smith’s publication titled Underwater Recession, which he coauthored with fellow economist Steven Gjerstad. 

“It’s an amazing opportunity to meet a Nobel Prize winner,” said Shelby Collins, a Brock School of Business economics and finance major. “We are so blessed to have Dr. Buchanan and her connection to him.”

Following the networking event, Smith and his wife, Candace, spent time with students and faculty in Samford’s Brock School of Business. Smith spoke of faith, science,and economics in his breakout session, and Candace Smith facilitated a professional etiquette workshop for students who are about to enter the workforce.

Learn more about Smith’s visit in this video.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.