Jeff and Naomi Silk Launch the Silk Investment Institute at USF

by Sara Rinaldi, Office of Development Communications

University of San Francisco Trustee, Jeff Silk ’87 and his wife Naomi, will launch the Silk Investment Institute with an extraordinary gift to the university. The Silks have been deeply involved with USF as the creators behind the popular Silk Speaker Series. This new commitment from the Silk family will establish the Silk Investment Institute and provide additional funding for the Silk Speaker Series and the Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice.

Investing in a Value Proposition

The Silk Investment Institute will launch an undergraduate minor in investments, open to all USF students, as a one-of-a-kind offering through the School of Management. Along with the debut of two new educational curricula, the institute will house new leadership development, an investment lab, a student seed fund, a Silk Nobel Laureates Speaker Series and a community financial literacy initiative.

Members of the Silk family believe that by establishing the Silk Investment Institute at USF, they will bring value to students, the university, local businesses, and the global investment community.

“I think a good way to put it is this is a win-win,” said Silk. “I have 40-plus years in the investment business, and I can take what I learned and share my knowledge and help the School of Management build this institute, where USF students will have a competitive advantage for jobs in finance.”

In five years, the institute will be alive and humming with a wide reach of impact by offering bootcamps, Bloomberg certifications, direct experience in investment management, and a new financial literacy program for the underserved communities of San Francisco, run in partnership with the McCarthy Center and the School of Education.  

“We are ready for the next generation of kind and conscientious leaders,”  said Naomi Silk. “The women and men at USF are our future.”

At the School of Management, Dean Otgontsetseg "Otgo" Erhemjamts is excited to see how a robust institute will elevate the school and students.

“This gift will enable us to provide transformational educational experiences integrating real-world financial and economic data into classes, providing a platform for students to gain in-demand skills in finance and investments, and conducting interactive simulations to develop financial models, which will improve the marketability and career preparedness of our students. The investment lab will be a crown jewel for Malloy Hall.”

Enriching the Life of Dons

The Silk Speaker Series has been a highlight at USF since 2017. The program has delivered esteemed guests such as Steph Curry, Condoleezza Rice, Charles Schwab, and Steve Wozniak to the Hilltop. Most recently Phil Jackson, Lisa Leslie, and Bill Cartwright ’79 joined the Silk stage.

The speaker series provides the opportunity to learn at a high-level from top-notch speakers — and helps connect the student, community, and alumni experience at USF.

“I’m proud that my son Ashton and I went to USF — going to this school enriched my life so much, and I want other people to get the benefit of that enrichment,” said Jeff Silk.

Giving to USF has been nothing short of fun for the Silks. It has given them joy, pride, and happiness as they get to see the positive impact they have made for countless USF students and alumni. Silk credits USF for much of his success, and in turn he feels that they are at a place where they can help push educational innovation.

“When we originally started the Silk Speaker Series we had no idea how successful it would become,” said Silk. “It has become way more successful than I had ever anticipated, and I think the new investment institute will become way more successful than we anticipate now.”