Since the time I was 10 years old going to my brother’s Crusader football games, all the way to the present, Evangel University has been touching my life and having an impact year after year.  From looking up to my brother, having youth pastors who were EU grads, being a student, and eventually a professor and member of the Alumni Board, my experiences with Evangel have had a profound impact on the way I think and the person I am.  Anyone who has gone to EU knows that the central message and culture of the school is that a person’s faith should permeate every part of their life – total integration of faith, career, family, and character.  I can say that I am thankful for what this great university has been able to give to me and it’s my hope that I’m now able pass on the same kind of experience to the students that I now teach each year.

~ Derek Schmidly


1994-1997 – Derek’s oldest brother attends Evangel on a football scholarship and Derek gets to attend EU football games every weekend.  After graduating, his brother becomes his youth pastor for a period of time.

1998 – Paul graduates with his master’s degree from AGTS.

2001 – Derek is recruited by Evangel’s football program while a senior in high school.

2002 – Derek enrolls at Evangel as a freshmen after receiving significant assistance through football and academic scholarships.  He majors in Biblical Studies and moves into Krause Hall and then to Lewis Hall his second year.

2003 – Paul begins to mentor Derek in the skills of investment management, and Derek adds a minor in Finance.

2004 – Derek continues to play football and becomes more active on campus by becoming a regular chapel worship leader.

2005 – Derek continues to lead worship his senior year and is invited by Dr. Martindale to participate in a mission trip to Thailand the following Summer.

2006 – Derek graduates from Evangel, Summa Cum Laude, and then travels to Thailand for two months with 20 other students to minister in Southeast Asia.  The trip had a profound impact on his life.

2007 – Derek attends the University of Missouri-Columbia’s MBA program after returning from Asia.  The program had many, many Asian students that Derek was able to connect with and befriend because of his experience on Evangel’s mission trip.

2008 – Derek completes the MBA program and returns to Springfield and starts Auxan Capital Advisors, LLC.  Part of his research as a Biblical Studies major was on the commands of Jesus and Paul toward the wealthy.  This study moved Derek to strategically give 15% of the company’s revenue to benefit non-profits and ministries for the Kingdom of God.  It’s been the company’s policy ever since.

2009 – Prof. Bernie Dana of EU’s Business Department asks Derek if he would help the University launch a program that would allow students to manage an endowment fund.  The group would become known as the Student Investment Group (SIG) and was started with 10 students and about $15,000 of seed capital.  Derek had participated in a program like this at the University of Missouri and was able to bring together the supporting documents to get the group founded and approved by the EU Board of Directors.

2010 – Evangel begins the process to add Finance as a major, something that EU had never previously offered.

2011 – The business department asks Derek if he would teach senior-level classes on portfolio management as part of the new Finance major as well as continue to be the program coordinator for SIG.  Derek agrees and becomes an adjunct professor in the department in the Fall semester.  Derek meets and begins dating his future spouse, who is also an EU graduate of 2007.

2012 – Bill Link asks Derek to join the committee that coordinates the EU Alumni & Friends Golf tournament.  The tournament is a fundraiser that goes toward giving scholarships to children of Alum.  He agrees and has been a member of that committee every year since.  Auxan has also been a regular sponsor of the tournament ever since as well.

2012 – Derek is awarded the Springfield Business Journal’s 40 under 40 award.  His position as a young professor in the EU Business Department played a key role in his receiving the award.

2013 – Derek is nominated and elected to a position on the EU Alumni Board.  The first few classes of Finance majors begin to graduate and go on to get lucrative jobs and internships.  Derek finds it exceedingly gratifying to have been part of these students’ early career success.

2014 – Auxan begins contributing an annual scholarship to the university that is awarded to an outstanding student with a Finance major.

2015 – Over time, the Endowment Fund managed the Student Investment Group balloons to over $400,000 through additional donations and the growth of the investments.  The gains from the fund payout scholarships to business students every year.

2016 – Derek is reappointed to a second term on the EU Alumni Board and becomes the chair of its fundraising committee.