Finance and business students at Mississippi State University's College of Business will have a state-of-the-art experience utilizing the same technologies that brokerage houses and portfolio management companies use every day in their financial decision making.
The college dedicated a new Strategic Finance Laboratory Nov. 3, with guests including alumni and donors who helped make the lab possible. They also celebrated with a ribbon cutting for the lab, located on McCool Hall's first floor.
Complete with stock tickers and television broadcasts of current news, MSU administrators said students will benefit greatly from the cutting edge finance laboratory. All business students will have access to regular lab hours beginning in the spring semester.
"This Strategic Finance Lab brings a corner of Wall Street right here to our campus," said President Mark E. Keenum. "And increasingly, Wall Street can be anywhere. With automated trading becoming more the norm, the days of people wearing funny jackets and shouting over each other on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange may be numbered. This is more nearly what the future of finance looks like."
Sharon Oswald, dean of the College of Business, said the lab is an example of engaged alumni contributing to the university to help current and future students attain the best possible educational experience.
"We value our alumni for all they continue to add back to our university in the way they represent Mississippi State and for the way they directly impact our students. They provide for resources that improve the educational experience and assist us in preparing our students for the professional challenges that await them after graduation," Oswald said.
Oswald noted that the Strategic Finance Laboratory is a completely privately funded project.
Mike Highfield, head of the college's finance department, said "true maroon Bulldogs" were able to come around an idea on paper and see the value of the Strategic Finance Laboratory project.
"These alumni recognized the impact it could have on student learning. It's because of the generous contributions of donors like the Gwin family, the Brumfield family and others who have visualized the great potential for this project that we are able to see it coming to fruition," Highfield said.
Highfield added that all business disciplines will have access to the lab, but it will be particularly beneficial to finance, accounting and agricultural economics students.
Highfield said MSU's student portfolio management team will begin using the lab immediately in their challenge to successfully manage a $400,000 portfolio for the Tennessee Valley Authority as part of the TVA Investment Challenge. The MSU team of about 10 students competes with students from 25 other universities within the TVA footprint.