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Fifteen Students Teams Beat S&P 500 Index in 2023 TVA Investment Challenge

Apr 3, 2024
  • Fifteen of 26 teams in the program beat the S&P 500 Total Return Index.  
  • One team produced returns over eight percent above that of the S&P 500.
  • ICP teams earned over $52,000 in performance awards for their universities in 2023, bringing the overall total to $1.3 million over the life of the program.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority announced Wednesday that 15 of the 26 university teams participating in the agency’s Investment Challenge Program beat the S&P 500 Total Return Index for calendar year 2023.  

“Easing inflation, a resilient economy, and volatile interest rates made 2023 an interesting year for investing,” said TVA Vice President, Treasurer, and Chief Risk Officer Tom Rice. It’s inspiring to see our student investors navigate a dynamic market—bank failures, debt ceiling crises, high Treasury yields—and still achieve double-digit returns.”

TVA’s Investment Challenge Program is one of the largest student investment programs in the nation. ICP is one of TVA’s partnership initiatives, teaching university students to actively manage stock portfolios under the guidance of faculty members and within investment guidelines established and monitored by TVA staff.

TVA recognized 250 students who participated in ICP at an event on Tuesday in Nashville, Tenn. Teams that outperform the S&P 500 in a calendar year earn performance awards for their respective universities. That amount totaled over $52,000 in 2023. This year, one of the 15 teams produced returns over eight percent above that of the S&P 500.

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

  • Alabama A&M University             
  • Christian Brothers University
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Lipscomb University
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Murray State University 
  • Tennessee State University
  • Tennessee Tech University
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Memphis
  • University of North Alabama
  • University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • University of Tennessee at Martin
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Western Carolina University

“Over 10,000 students have participated in the ICP since 1998. We are proud to partner with universities to support education and provide investment opportunities that enhance classroom learning,” Rice said.  

Since its inception, ICP has generated a return of 8.46%, outperforming the S&P 500 total return of 8% over the same time period. Through 2023, the program has grown to $13 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 Austin Peay State University, Belmont University, Carson Newman University, Mississippi State University, Mississippi University for Women, Trevecca University, University of Alabama Birmingham, University of Alabama at Huntsville, University of Mississippi, Union University and Western Kentucky University.

For more information about the Investment Challenge Program, visit

About TVA

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.


Scott Fiedler
Public Relations
[email protected]

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