When Matt Richardson accepted an internship at E.F Hucks & Associates, Inc., he had no idea that the program would be anything more than on-the-job training and three hours’ credit toward his minor in Commercial and Investment Real Estate at Coastal Carolina University. Little did he know that upon graduation, he would make the transition from intern to colleague.

“Richardson, who represents CCU’s first graduate in the Commercial and Investment Real Estate minor, was an exemplary student from the start,” said Dr. Rob Salvino, professor of economics and Associate Director of The Grant Center for Real Estate and Economic Development.   “His classroom performance, his maturity level and his interest in real estate were all factors in considering him for this internship.”

“The firm, E.F. Hucks & Associates, Inc., and its principal E.F. “Buddy” Hucks, MAI, SRA, have been instrumental in our program from the beginning,” Dr. Salvino explained.  “Our curriculum development really began with informal and ongoing discussions that Buddy and I had nearly ten years ago. In addition, both Buddy and his associate, Dave Curry, MAI, played an integral role in the development of our Real Estate Club by helping us align our mission with that of the development community.”

“With the assistance and support of firms like E.F. Hucks, the minor in Commercial and Investment Real Estate has grown over 30 percent. In less than two years, students enrolled in CCU’s Commercial and Investment Real Estate Minor have examined current issues facing the Grand Strand, from the development of recreational infrastructure such as bike paths, to the problem of brown field redevelopment, to highest and best use scenarios as exemplified by the former Georgetown Steel site.”

“This year, our students are modeling Amazon’s 2nd Headquarters location decision, and learning much about the economics of places and fiscal matters that confront economic development. They are examining how to take global issues and apply relative aspects to our own challenges. Their investigations are not limited to the classroom as evidenced at our recent 20th Annual Growth and Real Estate Summit that included discussions from county council members, city planners and even the Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun.  The issues covered at the Summit were the same as those our students regularly debate in the classroom. It is opportunities such as this that make that the connection from the classroom to the real world almost seamless,” he said.

“If I had to highlight our greatest achievement to date, it would be the overwhelming support for our program from the community and its leaders–people like Buddy Hucks.”

“Currently we have 30 students minoring in Commercial and Investment Real Estate, representing five different majors across the Wall College of Business. We awarded four scholarships this year, and in 2018 we will have our first student to study real estate abroad.  Ten years ago, this was a vision that I shared with Buddy Hucks.”  Dr. Salvino concluded.

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