Distinguished alumnus returns for commencement

Robert “Bob” Oros, Class of 1990, to speak at College of Business Administration ceremony

| Author: Ari Harris | Media Contact: Aaron Mills

It’s been more than three decades since Bob Oros crossed the commencement stage at Central Michigan University to receive his bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance. Now, he’s returning to campus to don regalia and share advice with a new class of CMU leaders. 

A man with brown hair and a goatee wears a maroon CMU polo shirt.Robert “Bob” Oros, class of 1990, has accepted President Davies’ invitation to address the class of 2024 at the College of Business Administration’s May commencement ceremony.

“Bob Oros is the epitome of a Fired Up, engaged alumnus,” said CMU President Bob Davies. “He leveraged the knowledge and experience he gained at CMU to succeed in his career, he is active in his community, both as a volunteer and through his philanthropic giving, and he is reaching back to CMU to lift up the next generation of leaders. He is a true role model and an aspirational leader, and it will be an honor to share the stage with him at commencement.” 

Oros is the chairman and CEO of Hightower Advisors, a national wealth management firm based in Chicago, Illinois. In his more than 30 years of professional experience, he has held leadership roles at several financial services and wealth management firms. Oros also serves as chairman of the board of directors for the Mental Health Association of Greater Chicago, Inc., a role he has held for nearly two years. His previous volunteer involvements have included work to support economic empowerment and survivors of domestic violence.

Investing in students

At CMU, Oros has focused his engagement on providing unique hands-on learning experiences for students. Oros made a gift of $500,000 to establish a fund that gives students the opportunity to practice portfolio management across all asset classes. Annually, between 15-20 students meet weekly to direct the fund’s investments, discuss strategy, manage risk and more. Together with Brad Taylor, a faculty member in the finance department who oversees the Michigan Finance Scholars program, Oros reviews the fund’s investment activity.

A large group of people wearing suits stand beneath and around a maroon and gold balloon arch.
Oros, center left beneath the balloon arch, welcomed students to his office at Hightower Advisors during a visit to Chicago.

In 2022, Oros hosted five CMU students at a conference for financial advisors in New York City. He arranged for the students to tour the New York Stock Exchange, including a meeting with the organization’s vice chairman. The learning adventure was one of many professional development experiences Oros has provided for students; others have included a visit to the Chicago Board of Trade and meetings at his own firm.  

Dedicated service to CMU

Since 2005, Oros has served as a member of the CMU Finance Department Advisory Board. He also serves as a member of the College of Business Dean’s Advisory Roundtable and as a judge in the CMU New Venture Challenge

College of Business Administration Dean Chris Moberg said Oros has been a tireless advocate for students since reconnecting with CMU and the college five years ago.

“From funding a multi-asset fund that allows our students to gain hands-on experience with portfolio management to hosting and mentoring our students, Bob has been gracious with his time and is directly preparing our students to compete and thrive after graduation,” Moberg said. “Based on his impressive career and his demonstrated willingness to help our students develop as future community and business leaders, I believe he will have tremendous wisdom and encouragement to share in his commencement address.”

In 2023, Oros was selected to receive CMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award, given in recognition of his significant positive impact on the university and in his home community of Chicago, Illinois.

The College of Business Administration commencement ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 4, in the John G. Kulhavi Events Center in McGuirk Arena.

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