Wolff Center Opportunity, Students Meet Warren Buffett

Published on May 29, 2009

Wolff Center Students Travel to Omaha for Special Visit With Warren Buffett

Lauren Valinoti not only get a photo opportunity but also a meeting of a lifetime with Warren Buffett.

Lauren Valinoti not only get a photo opportunity but also a meeting of a lifetime with Warren Buffett.

Students from the Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, the nation’s top-ranked undergraduate entrepreneurial program at the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business, were given the chance of a lifetime when one of the world’s most respected and successful investors – Warren Buffett – extended a highly coveted invitation to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. headquarters in Omaha, Neb.

The Center’s namesake, Melvyn Wolff (BBA ‘53), is Chairman of Star Furniture, a Berkshire Hathaway company. Twenty-seven students from the program, along with a select group of students from Harvard, MIT and other top universities were invited to spend time with Buffett April 16 and 17.

The Wolff Center was named the best undergraduate program for entrepreneurs in the U.S. by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine. Buffett’s invitation is yet another indication of how highly regarded the program is, said Daniel Steppe, Director of WCE.

Ernesto Manrique not only get a photo opportunity but also a meeting of a lifetime with Warren Buffett.

Ernesto Manrique not only get a photo opportunity but also a meeting of a lifetime with Warren Buffett.

“This was an amazing opportunity for the students, and I know they left a wonderful impression with Buffett and everyone else who was there with their enthusiasm, skills and entrepreneurial spirit,” Steppe said. “The students already grasp what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, but this opportunity to talk with Warren Buffett about some of the challenges he’s faced and the decisions he has made is something they’ll learn from and remember throughout their lives.”

UH Bauer students had the opportunity to visit some of the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries and participated in a Student Q&A Session with Buffett during the two-day visit. Other schools invited include Harvard, MIT, Columbia, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Minnesota. According to Steppe, most schools invited are business graduate programs, making Wolff Center one of the only undergraduate business programs to be included.

Some of the topics students prepared for Buffett included the best entrepreneurial opportunities in a negative business cycle, maintaining integrity in business, the global outlook during this downturn, his views on the nationalization of the auto industry and his projections for a Wall Street recovery.