Friday, December 9, 2016

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Financial Markets Lab Opens

A $1 million Wells Fargo gift was celebrated at a Sept. 21 dedication ceremony.
By Greg Block

Students at San Diego State University will have a unique opportunity to learn about and study global economies and financial markets the same way that financial wizards on Wall Street do, thanks to a $1 million gift from Wells Fargo.

Cross-campus collaboration

Established by a collaboration between the College of Business Administration and Library and Information Access, the Wells Fargo Financial Markets Laboratory, which opens this week inside SDSU’s Love Library, is designed to revolutionize the way professors teach finance and financial literacy and how students learn about economic markets. It will also be a tool for the university to teach high school students and other community members about finance and economics.

“The SDSU College of Business has been a leader in educating students and preparing them to enter the workforce as entrepreneurs and business leaders,” said Michael Cunningham, dean of the College of Business Administration. 

"Our main objectives are academic excellence, to create as many opportunities for as many students as possible and to help grow our economy one student and graduate at a time. The Wells Fargo Financial Markets Laboratory is consistent with these objectives and will continue to set SDSU apart as a leader in business education and, in turn, will help the economy grow stronger for many years to come,” Cunningham said.

The idea behind the Wells Fargo Financial Markets Laboratory – one of the first of its kind on the west coast – began with a lead gift of $100,000 from Marjorie and Stephen Cushman, a San Diego business leader and chairman of the college’s board of directors. The Wells Fargo gift allowed the idea to become a reality.

Real-time economic data

The lab will offer students from all over campus the skills that are increasingly required to ensure their competitiveness for the current and future job market. It will function as a library resource as well as a classroom where students and faculty will retrieve, process and analyze real-time economic and financial data.

“The library of the twenty-first century is a critical hub on campus and has become a place for collaborative learning,” said Gale Etschsmaier, Dean of Library and Information Access. “The Wells Fargo Financial Markets Laboratory is much more than a trading room. It is a place where students and faculty from all majors and colleges can come together and conduct real-time, in-depth research on companies and markets from around the world.”

Cutting-edge technology

The hallmark of the laboratory is the integration of 12 Bloomberg terminals and the Wharton financial database, both of which offer a deep research engine that often goes untapped in trading rooms on Wall Street. These tools help students understand financial markets, assess economic scenarios and interpret key news events that impact the global economy. The room will also be outfitted with stock tickers and monitors to display financial happenings around the world.

“Wells Fargo is honored to be the namesake for the new College of Business Administration Financial Markets Laboratory at San Diego State University,” said Laura Stansberry, regional managing director for Wells Fargo Private Bank and member of the College of Business’ Board of Directors. “Supporting financial literacy is a top priority for Wells Fargo. Partnering with San Diego State University to provide its student body and the community with state-of-the-art resources promoting advanced financial education is a natural fit for us. We are truly excited with this endeavor and look forward to making a positive impact in the communities where we live and work.”
In addition to its impact on the SDSU campus, Cunningham envisions the laboratory having a strong effect on the entire San Diego region in that it will provide financial literacy education not only to SDSU students, but also to local high schools students and other diverse communities.

The lab will further enable faculty and student teams to sync up with the business community to provide research that will help companies solve complex problems. At the same time, students are seeing their academic studies in an applied setting.

Wells Fargo Financial Markets Laboratory
$1 million gift to revolutionize financial research and education on campus