Sarah and Alex Groen Endowment for International Learning

Sep 1, 2021 | Excellence Funds & Program Support

Sarah and Alex Groen both believe wholeheartedly that the importance of travel for business students cannot be overstated. In establishing the Sarah & Alex Groen Endowment for International Learning, it’s their hope that this endowment will create life-changing opportunities for Longhorn students with financial need. Immersion in different cultures invites students to learn from multiple perspectives, enhances their creativity, and expands their empathy. The Groens feel that travel builds better people and better leaders—which ultimately builds a better tomorrow.

Both Alex’s and Sarah’s college experiences led directly to their successes and have influenced their giving focus. Sarah’s love of travel started at a young age and included two wonderful semesters spent studying abroad. During those semesters in Europe and Southeast Asia, Sarah traveled to over 15 countries; she has now been to 100 countries and all seven continents. Alex is also a big lover of travel, and the pair have been to nearly 50 countries together. Alex’s favorite travel memories include trips to Antarctica, Israel, Jordan, and South Africa.

Sarah Groen got her start in business by studying finance at the McCombs School of Business, graduating with a BBA in 2005. Her fondest memories stem from two full semesters spent studying abroad in Vienna and Singapore. Alex Groen graduated from Creighton University, where he also studied finance and enjoyed a week-long student trip to New York Citywith Creighton’s Portfolio Management Practicum. Through Alex, the Groens also fund a scholarship at Creighton to enable finance students with financial need to participate in the practicum.

Sarah and Alex met after graduation in Houston, where Sarah worked in Houston as an investment banking analyst and in private equity investing before earning her MBA from Stanford Business School. After graduating from Stanford, Sarah returned to Houston and worked in tech investing and Uber before leaving to establish Bell & Bly Travel. Bell & Bly Travel serves executives, entrepreneurs, and investors, acting as an addition to their personal management teams—like a wealth advisor or accountant (but a lot more fun!). Sarah and her team use their extensive knowledge and relationships to help their clients plan trips anywhere in the world.

 

Alex started his career with Citigroup in New York City in the sales and trading program, something he credits to the practicum class at Creighton opening his eyes to new opportunities. After a couple of years, he began specializing in commodities trading and moved to Houston, where he met Sarah. Alex has since built a highly successful career in natural gas trading, mostly at hedge funds.

With this endowment, Sarah and Alex Groen aspire to provide students with financial need the opportunity to experience different geographies and cultures firsthand, all while building their proficiency in business, enriching their academic experience, and expanding their leadership skills. Clients of Bell & Bly Travel will be given the opportunity to donate to the endowment fund and support study abroad scholarships. In addition, the company will donate $100 to the fund for every client referral.

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