NFL player Brandon Copeland will bring his passion for and wisdom about financial literacy to Middle Tennessee State University students this spring, including a special opportunity for one lucky student to land a “workout session” with the New York Jets linebacker.
Copeland’s presentation on “How to Catch Your Dream” will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 9, in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building. The event is free and open to the public.
Copeland, who’s now played seven seasons in the NFL, teaches a financial literacy course at his Ivy League alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated from The Wharton School and now teaches on issues from budgeting and retirement investing to buying a house versus the cost of renting to handling student-loan debt.
Dr. Anne Anderson, finance professor and Weatherford Chair of Finance in the Jones College of Business, led the committee coordinating Copeland’s visit in conjunction with Financial Literacy Week in April.
She said she feels the 28-year-old Copeland’s youth, combined with his eye-opening financial choices — saving or investing 90 percent of his salary early in his career — will resonate with MTSU students.
“Student debt is a major problem in the U.S. today,” said Anderson, who is winding up her second year as the Weatherford Chair of Finance. “There are programs being marketed as loan forgiveness programs that don’t work. Students are taking on excessive amounts of debt for majors that aren’t going to yield them jobs that can pay that debt and they don’t understand what they’re getting into.”
And to pique student interest even more, a one-page essay contest is being held, with the winner receiving a one-on-one workout session with Copeland following his public presentation. The session will feature a combination of fitness and financial tips.
Students will share their thoughts in the essay on why financial literacy is important and why the hourlong session with Copeland will benefit them. Event and contest details, including the essay submission deadline, can be found at www.mtsu.edu/econfin/tnfinlitweek.php.
A real estate investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Copeland will bring his unique financial insights to the Blue Raider campus to help students navigate financial decisions that he says will shape their lives for years and even decades to come.
“Financial literacy is important for today’s college student in a plethora of ways. A lot of students are bootstrapping their college experience,” he said. “In a lot of these cases, college can dictate your decisions for 10-plus years, when you factor in student loans, actually surviving through college, etc. The decisions students make today can impact their trajectory.”
He said students should enter the essay contest to win the workout session because “it will be a great opportunity to ask all the questions that are on their mind from a financial standpoint, careerwise, etc., and just to pick my mind at will.”
“I will also provide fitness tips as I focus on functional movements, rather than lifting heavy weight just to say I do. I think that is important to say, in case someone who would want to partake in this opportunity is intimidated by the thought of working out with an NFL player,” he added.
For more information about Copeland, visit his website, https://brandoncopeland.com.
— Jimmy Hart (Jimmy.Hart@mtsu.edu)