Masters Investment Learning Center Unveils Renovations

April 18, 2024

The Masters Investment Learning Center (MILC) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Haslam College of Business reopened in the spring 2024 semester after undergoing extensive renovations. Over the span of almost 15 years, this center has been a cornerstone for business students, offering invaluable real-world market investment opportunities. Specifically, members of the college’s Torch Fund program — wherein Haslam finance students engage in active management of nearly $4 million in donors’ funds — use the center, exemplifying hands-on experiential learning at its finest.

MILC has nearly tripled its usable space to 1,900 square feet and increased its number of Bloomberg terminals, in which students can access and analyze real-time data and place trades, to 20. Widely considered the gold standard of financial market databases, Haslam boasts the most Bloomberg terminals in the Southeastern Conference and ranks No. 1 in the world for the number of students earning Bloomberg Market Concepts certification.

For students like senior finance major and Bloomberg analyst Lindsey Campbell, the MILC offers a crucial advantage in the job market because most corporations around the world have Bloomberg terminals in their headquarters. “The skills I learned through the finance classes we run in the MILC have allowed me to stand out among peers,” Campbell says.

Laura Cole, Sharon Pryse/The Trust Company of Tennessee MILC Director, affirms the importance of Bloomberg. “That’s our primary purpose — to educate students and to teach them the database so they can incorporate that into their research.”

Thoughtful Design Meets State-of-the-Art Technology

When planning the upgrades, the renovation team, including building project manager Wayne Bledsoe, designer Zarah Bates of Z Creative Group and a construction team from BurWil Construction Company, sought input from a committee that included Cole, Torch Fund program director Ryan Farley and other faculty and students who utilize the MILC for classes, meetings and research. The center’s namesake, Mike Masters (HCB, ’89), founder and chief investment officer of Masters Capital Management, LLC, funded the project.

After closing for renovations at the end of the spring 2023 semester, the facility took up temporary residence in a classroom on the seventh floor of the Stokely Management Center. The updated MILC began a gradual re-opening in February 2024.

In addition to the increased square footage and new Bloomberg terminals, the updated configuration allows the terminal monitors to be lowered when not in use so the space can be used as a classroom or conference room. The center also now features two breakout rooms to facilitate collaboration and mentorship.

With its high-profile location behind glass walls on the GSV Atrium level of the Haslam Business Building, the facility has long been a popular stop for campus tours. Upgrades to the glass now enable occupants to darken the windows when privacy is needed. New carpeting and custom-built furniture have replaced the center’s original dark color scheme, Cole says, making the space “so much brighter and more inviting.”

Mike Masters smiles and gestures while speaking into a handheld microphoneMasters toured the reopened center on March 22. His daughter Kate, a sophomore marketing major at Haslam, and Brad Summers (MBA, ’13), head trader and macrostrategist for Masters Capital Management, LLC, accompanied him for the visit. 

“It’s a beautiful facility and will attract prospective students to the Haslam College of Business,” says Masters, who serves on the finance department’s advisory council. “I received a great education from UT. Their finance department was excellent when I attended school in the 1980s, and it’s even better today.”

Betsy Adams, Haslam’s assistant dean of operations, strategy and planning, says, “The seamless integration of state-of-the-art technology, courtesy of the TIS (Technical Innovative Solutions) team’s expertise, has catapulted our student experience into a new era. A special shoutout goes to the facility team, and particularly to Wayne Bledsoe, the program planner, whose meticulous coordination and foresight ensured a flawless execution. Together, they have set a benchmark in excellence for renovations at Haslam.”


Stacy Estep, writer/publicist,