Ryan Sauter, B.A. 2001

CEO and Co-founder, Weaver Mine Capital Management

2001 Major: Religious Studies and English; minor in Art History

How has being a Religion graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"Before I attended Duke, I worked on Wall Street for nearly two years. After I graduated from Duke, I went back to Wall Street and have worked in investment management and sales & trading for the past 20 years. From an early age, I knew that I wanted to be a hedge fund manager, but when I arrived as a student the last thing I was interested in was studying economics. I have always had a deep passion for and interest in the study of Religion (particularly, in examining world Religions). Duke’s incredible and robust Religion Department enabled me to study Christianity, Judaism, the Religions of India, Islam, Taoism, Buddhism, Native American Religions, as well as to create an independent study on the modern state of the Anglican Communion. It was not only a fulfilling course of study, but has given me the gift of being able to relate to most every human on the planet; both by being able to understand where people come from and their belief system as well as to be able to find commonality within my background and belief system. I double majored in English due to my love of literature, and minored in Art History. It is my firm belief that, in spite of my extremely Math, Econ and Finance based career, having a well rounded liberal arts degree allows me to think critically, ask important questions, and look at things from a global perspective."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Religion programs? 

"Study your passion. The most successful careers and lives do not follow a conveyor belt. In my experience, the most fulfilled individuals are able to weave vocation and avocation into their life tapestry. Even if you do not foresee a career based on your Religion major or minor, Religion and the study of Religion is an important element of what creates and sustains human behavior. Understanding human behavior from a historical, current and future perspective helps us to understand more deeply, love more fully, and clarifies our own behavior, faith and belief systems."

Ryan Sauter