AU, STAR partner to build stock trading room

Thu, 2010-08-19 08:55 -- univcomm
August 19, 2010

Anderson University and STAR Financial Bank are partnering to build a simulated financial trading room in the Falls School of Business.

stock-roomConstruction of the new facility will begin this fall and is being funded by a $125,000 commitment from STAR Financial Bank.

The trading room will serve as a real-time, high-tech laboratory classroom designed to simulate a Wall Street environment on the Anderson University campus.

[Photo, from left: James L. Edwards, Anderson University President; Gary W. Erskine, STAR Regional President, Anderson; Osborne J. Morgan, STAR Senior Private Advisor; and Terry Truitt, Dean of the Falls School of Business.]

The 1,000-square-foot lab will be equipped with:

  • 20 trading stations, with a computer and dual displays at each station
  • two large-screen displays providing live coverage of CNBC, CNN, and other financial networks
  • two electronic ticker tapes that surround the classroom with financial information
  • video conferencing equipment
  • software for trading, deal capturing, settlement, analytics, pricing, portfolio management, derivatives pricing, and other finance-related challenges
  • market information subscriptions

The trading room will benefit all students with coursework in finance, but the greatest benefit will be to upper-division finance students, particularly those working with the university's Raven Investment Fund, a student-managed portfolio of more than $310,000 that over the last three years has outperformed the market in return and risk.

"We have great students at Anderson University. Now, thanks to the generosity of STAR Financial Bank, our students will have state-of-the-art technology in a top-notch facility that will accelerate their careers and their contributions to their professions," said Dr. Terry Truitt, dean of the Falls School of Business.

For STAR Financial Bank, the commitment reflects the organization's emphasis for investing in the community.

"In the recent economy, we've looked at ways to invest our money, and we've narrowed it down to education, economic development, and the arts. So, this really is one of our main areas of focus," said Gary Erskine, STAR Financial Bank Regional President, Anderson.

Erskine believes the trading room will give students real-world experience that textbooks and lectures alone cannot provide.

"One of the things I like about the trading room is that it's live; it's real money, real gains, and real losses," Erskine said. "In stock trading as I have known it, there is always an emotional element. By having real money and risk involved, it puts that element into play. And what better education is there than the education of experience?"

The stock trading room represents a new milestone in what AU Vice President for Advancement Bob Coffman calls a long, productive partnership with STAR Financial Bank. "We are pleased that they found this project to be consistent with their long-standing commitment to educating both future business leaders and the public on financial issues," said Coffman.

The stock trading room is a part of the $110 million Dreams. Discovery. Direction. campaign for Anderson University. The campaign is the largest fundraising effort in the university’s history. To date the campaign has raised $96 million. Major components of the campaign include $51 million for capital projects, $34 million for endowment, and $25 million for operational support.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.

STAR provides professional services in banking, insurance and private advisory. Headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, STAR holds assets of $1.7 billion. It operates 48 banking centers throughout Indiana, including the communities of Anderson, Angola, Carmel, Churubusco, Columbia City, Elwood, Fishers, Fort Wayne, Gas City, Gaston, Greenfield, Hamilton, Indianapolis, Kendallville, Kokomo, Marion, Muncie, New Castle, Noblesville, Pendleton, Shirley, South Whitley, Tipton and Upland. As a full service provider, STAR Insurance Agency offers life, health, homeowners, auto, farm and crop, commercial and annuity insurance products. STAR Private Advisory offers private banking, brokerage services and fiduciary services, including estate planning, investment management and trust services. For more information about all of STAR’s services, visit the company’s website at starfinancial.com.