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Eleven TVA Investment Challenge Student Teams Beat S&P 500 Index in 2022

Apr 18, 2023

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority announced Tuesday that nearly 50% of the 25 university teams participating in the agency’s Investment Challenge Program (ICP) beat the S&P 500 Total Return Index for the calendar year 2022. 

“Surging interest rates and high inflation made 2022 a difficult year for investing,” said TVA Vice President, Treasurer, and Chief Risk Officer Tammy Wilson. “I’m inspired by our ICP students who powered through extreme volatility with many outperforming the market in a very difficult year.”

The Investment Challenge Program is one of TVA’s workforce development initiatives that allows university student teams to actively manage stock portfolios under the guidance of faculty members and within investment guidelines established and monitored by TVA.

To recognize the teams’ efforts, on Monday, TVA hosted more than 225 students at an event in Nashville, Tennessee. One of the 11 teams produced returns in excess of over one thousand basis points above that of the S&P 500. Teams that outperform the S&P 500 in a calendar year earn performance awards for their respective universities.

The top-performing teams who beat the S&P 500 to earn awards are:

  • Austin Peay State University
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Mississippi State University
  • Mississippi University for Women
  • Tennessee State University
  • Trevecca Nazarene University
  • University of Mississippi
  • University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Western Carolina University
  • Western Kentucky University

This year, TVA celebrates its 90th birthday and the ICP is celebrating its 25th birthday.  “Over 10,000 students have participated in the program since 1998, and we are proud to partner with universities to support education and provide investment opportunities that enhance classroom learning,” Wilson said.   

Overall, the S&P 500 fell by 19% in 2022, and was one of the 10 worst-performing years for the stock index in at least 90 years.  Even though it was a tough year in 2022, since the inception of the ICP,  students have collectively outperformed the S&P 500 total return of 7.30% by 49 basis points annually; an excess cumulative return of 63%. Through 2023, the program has grown to $11 million primarily through positive investment returns. ICP teams have earned over $1.3 million in performance awards for their schools over the life of the program.

Other participating universities are Alabama A&M University, Belmont University, Christian Brothers University, Lipscomb University, Middle Tennessee State University, Murray State University, Tennessee Tech University, University of Alabama Birmingham, University of Alabama at Huntsville, University of Kentucky, University of Memphis, University of North Alabama, University of Tennessee at Martin, and Union University.

For more information about the Investment Challenge Program, visit

The Tennessee Valley Authority is the nation’s largest public power supplier, delivering energy to 10 million people across seven southeastern states. TVA was established 90 years ago to serve this region and the nation by developing innovative solutions to solve complex challenges. TVA’s unique mission focuses on energy, environmental stewardship, and economic development. With one of the largest, most diverse, and cleanest energy systems – including nuclear, hydro, solar, gas, and advanced technologies – TVA is a leader in our nation’s drive toward a clean energy future.

TVA is a corporate agency of the United States, receiving no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation, and land management for the Tennessee River system, and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation. Learn more at  Energy System of the Future.


Scott Fiedler
Public Relations
[email protected]

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