PULLMAN, Wash. — Renowned industry expert Donald R. Epley has joined the College of Business and Economics at Washington State University as its Victor L. Lyon Certified Commercial Investment Member Distinguished Professor of Real Estate.
He is the immediate past Distinguished Professor of Real Estate at Mississippi State University, where he was also the Robert W. Warren Chair of Real Estate and a professor of finance and real estate.
“Don Epley is a foremost educator, researcher and servicer to the industry, and he brings to WSU a vision for our real estate program that is certain to take it to a higher level,” says Nancy Bell, chair of the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate Department. Bell, the Distinguished Professor for Risk Management and Insurance, headed the national search for the Lyon/CCIM position.
This distinguished professorship was established in 1992 with contributions from the Lyon family, the real estate industry and matching state funds. Victor L. Lyon, who died in 1990, was chairman and founder of Lyon Commercial Real Estate Inc. and past president of Realtors National Marketing Institute. He was a senior instructor for the institute’s commercial investment courses, a champion of real estate education and extremely active within the industry. CCIM is one of numerous professional designations attained by Lyon.
Epley, as the holder of the distinguished professorship in Lyon’s name, is charged with educating students; guiding and leading junior faculty in their teaching, research and career development; maintaining strong ties with real estate leaders, trade associations and professional groups; developing programs, seminars and courses in the college; and studying or investigating practical problems and issues confronting the real estate industry.
“The WSU real estate program offers students a diverse and very competitive background, and I look forward to working with the them, the college, and the Real Estate Advisory Committee to develop and expand the potential further,” says Epley, who moved to Pullman with his family in July. He is slated to teach two undergraduate courses fall semester. And, his plans include an extensive review of the curriculum and research program. “Real estate markets in some areas have been changing rapidly. We must constantly revise our courses to assure the students that they receive the most current material, and that research topics address the most pressing problems.”
Epley’s professional specialty areas include real estate finance, investments, valuation and market analysis. He is a broker and appraiser. Epley has been president of the American Real Estate Society and currently serves as a director. He has authored or co-authored four textbooks and more than 70 refereed journal articles, and currently is editor of “The Journal of Real Estate Education and Practice.”
The real estate program at WSU has existed 34 years and today serves more than 50 certified majors. Coursework in the program allows students to do investment analysis, learn about mortgage markets, utilize current computer software and work successfully both as an individual and in teams. An active student Real Estate Club brings industry experts to campus to discuss career options and professional situations. Many WSU real estate majors take advantage of regional internship opportunities.

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