Claire and Carl Stuart
"It's like giving to your friends. It all comes down to a fondness for the University."
Carl Stuart (1969 B.A., political science) and Claire Field Stuart (1969 B.A., elementary education) met as students in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS).
The two were married after returning from Peru, where they spent six months after graduation teaching English 11,000 feet up in the Andes. After that, Carl says his career “followed a crooked line”—but it has undoubtedly been a line pointing upward.
He served in the National Guard and worked for his father-in-law’s clothing business in Waterloo before he and Claire moved to Austin, Texas, where he pursued a career in finance—a decision that proved to be satisfying and profitable.
Today, Carl owns a successful investment management company and for more than a decade has hosted “Money Talk,” a popular weekly call-in show on Austin’s KLBJ radio. In 2002, he was selected by Registered Rep. (the leading industry magazine) as one of the top 10 financial advisers in the country, and he also teaches courses in financial and investment planning at the University of Texas.
Claire took time off from teaching elementary school to raise their three children before earning a master’s degree in counseling from Texas State University.
She now works as a counselor specializing in the treatment of adolescents. “After I had messed up my own kids,” she jokes, “it was time to move on to someone else’s!” (Carl and Claire are very proud of all three, now grown.)
Both agree that their CLAS education helped them to be open to new possibilities and equipped them to excel, no matter what their professions. “The articulation and critical-thinking skills I learned at the UI always serve me well,” Carl says.
Claire adds, “My professors taught me how to ask important questions and helped me to open my mind to different ways of thinking—skills that have been instrumental in my work with children.”
The Stuarts have supported the UI and the college for decades with annual gifts. Recently, they increased their philanthropic commitment to the college by establishing the endowed Carl W. and Claire Field Stuart CLAS Excellence and Innovation Fund, which allows the dean to make awards to CLAS departments for creative new programs that will increase the college’s visibility, excellence, and reputation.
“It’s like giving to your friends,” explains Carl of why he and Claire support the UI among other favorite philanthropic causes. “It all comes down to a fondness for the University. The four years we spent there were seminal in our lives, and our UI education gave us the confidence to seek adventure.”