(Carl Cronan is editor of RealEstateFlorida.)

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ORLANDO, FL-Randy I. Anderson, a local commercial real estateresearcher and investor, has been selected for the inaugural HowardPhillips Eminent Scholar Chair at the University of CentralFlorida. The chair endowment was partially funded by the NationalAssociation of Industrial and Office Properties.

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In this new role, Anderson will direct the research andeducation institute for the Phillips School of Real Estate withinthe UCF College of Business Administration. His goal is to buildthe Orlando-based program into one of the nation's top-ten realestate schools within the next five years.

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"Randy's unique background of working, teaching and conductingresearch within the real estate industry will benefit the programimmensely," Thomas L. Keon, UCF business school dean, stated in arelease. "I am confident that he will help this new program grow,and that he will serve as a great mentor to our real estatestudents."

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Anderson has been in the real estate business since 1991, asowner of 1776 Financial Services, a boutique investment bankingfirm in Winter Park, FL, near Orlando. The company provides debt,mezzanine and equity financing for projects nationwide, and is alsoinvolved in developing and acquiring multifamily properties in theSoutheast.

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Before launching his own firm, Anderson was president of CNLReal Estate Advisors in Orlando, overseeing such areas as research,origination, acquisition, finance and management. The University ofAlabama finance graduate also served previously as Ryder EminentScholar Chair and professor of real estate/finance at FloridaInternational University, as well as chief economist and directorof research for Marcus & Millichap.

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UCF's real estate chair is supported by a $5-million endowmentfrom state and local gifts. The endowment also supports a realestate scholarship program at the college, which has nearly 200students either majoring or minoring in the undergraduateprogram.

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The Central Florida chapter of NAIOP has committed $600,000toward a second real estate faculty position at UCF honoring JimHeistand, majority owner of Orlando-based Eola Capital. Additionaldonations have been made by local commercial real estate firmsincluding Taurus Southern Investments, CB Richard Ellis, DukeConstruction and Highwoods Properties.

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"At this point, we need more folks to follow their lead," saysTerry Delahunty, president of NAIOP Central Florida and a partnerin Foley & Lardner's Orlando law office. "We are currentlyseeking additional investment in the chair."

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