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Jim Clewlow

Jim Clewlow

Chief investment officer/executive VP | CenterPoint Properties | Class of 1985

One sure sign of a great professor: They pick up the phone and make time for their students — long after they have them in class.

That’s what Jim Clewlow (BA ’85, economics) had in Franklin Shupp.

The professor “made macro-economic scintillating to me as a junior and senior. He truly connected with his students and was the first to help me appreciate the world in which we live,” says CenterPoint Properties’ chief investment officer and executive VP.

“Many of his basic teachings — he would use them foundationally for later classes — I still use today, 35 years later. It was a terrific time to take Macro Economics, given the Reagan tax cuts, deficit spending and end of the Fed Chairman Volcker interest rate hikes. I remember running to class to make sure I didn’t miss the start, hanging on every word he said and taking copious notes — which was rare for me, at the time.

“After I graduated, I jumped into commercial real estate, but often had interest to continue my studies in economics. I called him one day to ask if he thought I should pursue a master’s in economics and he quickly remembered me, looked up my grades and after asking a few probing questions about my commitment, surmised I was on a more appropriate career path for my skills.

“Although I was disappointed after I hung up the phone, I later realized how easy he had made the classes for me and how I probably wouldn’t have excelled in a graduate economics curriculum.

“His advice has stayed with me all these years, since he was dead-on right. Reminded me about the importance of connecting with your students, being an expert in your field and looking after them — even long after they’re gone.”