Mark Riedy Leaves a Legacy for Future Students

Mark Riedy at USD

Mark J. Riedy, PhD, executive director emeritus of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate (BMC) at the University of San Diego, is a nationally recognized leader in the real estate industry. Not only has he provided a personalized education for students who graduate as socially responsible leaders, but has also supported the industry by presenting programs and annual conferences, some of which draw 700 heavy hitters in the real estate industry.

Riedy, who was the first person to hold the Ernest W. Hahn Professor of Real Estate Finance Chair at USD, started the real estate program in 1993. In 2004, the center was endowed through the generous support of John Moores, the Burnham Real Estate Company and its brokers, and Malin Burnham, which enabled it to continue to serve students and professionals for generations to come. The BMC is a center of excellence within the School of Business at the University of San Diego.

Mark Riedy retirement party

Riedy retired from his post in January, after 22 years of service at USD. He was a champion for students, establishing numerous real estate scholarships that are vital to their education.

The real estate industry hosted a retirement celebration and scholarship fundraiser in January. The event raised more than $300,000, which established the Mark J. Riedy Legacy Scholarships.

“Mark Riedy has been Mr. Real Estate at USD ever since he came on board two decades ago, helping to create the Burnham-Moores Center and to establish the Master of Science in Real Estate and the undergraduate major and minor degrees in real estate,” says David Pyke, dean of the School of Business. “Now he adds, as his parting legacy, the Mark J. Riedy Scholarship Fund, ensuring that we continue to robustly support our mission of creating exceptional value for the real estate professionals of today and tomorrow through personalized education at SBA. Among all his contributions, I know that Mark holds this scholarship fund very dear, and so will the students who will benefit for years to come.”

It all started when Riedy led a campaign to raise more than $500,000 to establish the Daniel B. Woodruff Memorial Endowed Scholarship as a tribute to the 1998 alumnus who died in 2000 after a two-year battle with an aggressive form of cancer. The scholarship is awarded each semester to the most outstanding student pursuing real estate as a career profession.

“Scholarships are the lifeblood of higher education today,” Riedy said, in a story he wrote for the Summer 2013 issue of USD Magazine, about his relationship with Dan Woodruff. “We have recognized many incredible students among the 21 Woodruff Memorial Scholarship recipients and their stories are as affecting as they are inspiring.”

Stath Karras was named as Riedy’s successor and took the helm on Jan. 19. Karras was the long-time CEO of Burnham Real Estate Services, a past chair and current board member of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and has been an active member of the Burnham-Moores Center’s Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee since 2003.

“The premise of Mark’s vision was tying the industry to university academics to directly benefit the students’ overall education and, ultimately, their opportunity to make a difference in their work environment and the community,” Karras says. “We now see the involvement and impact many of the BMC graduates are having throughout the industry and know that Mark’s vision, hard work and effort is paying big dividends. I am pleased to continue the growth and relevance of the Burnham-Moores Center and thank Mark for creating a rock-solid foundation on which to work.”

Riedy was also instrumental in establishing the USD Real Estate Institute in the name of the Mickey Carhart Memorial Scholarship, named for John “Mickey” Carhart, who worked in the land development and construction industry for more than 40 years and died in 2001.

He was also a driving force behind the James T. Gianulis Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is a tribute to Jim Gianulis, a native San Diegan and former Army captain who was a member of the center’s Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee. It provides generous financial support to USD students whose passions for real estate mirrors those that Gianulis shared with the world.

Austin Dias, who’s earning his MSRE by taking classes in the evenings, is the current recipient of the James T. Gianulis Scholarship. Dias, who expects to graduate in 2016, is a husband and a father to a 1 ½-year-old son. He works more than full time in real estate brokerage, heading into work at 7 a.m. and, on the nights he has class, staying on campus until 9 p.m. Dias will always be grateful for the financial support and, during a recent lunch with the Gianulis family, was able to hear more about the man behind the scholarship.

“People loved Jim and trusted him and so many of his friends and family contributed to this scholarship,” Dias says. “It was inspiring to hear about him and I hope that, as a recipient of this scholarship, I embody his principles and the way he lived. I take that very seriously. Hopefully I can set the bar high for the students who will come after me.”

For more information on the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, visit

— Krystn Shrieve

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