A ribbon-cutting ceremony, held on the north side of San Diego State’s Love Library, unveiled the new Wells Fargo Financial Markets Laboratory. Students, faculty members, Wells Fargo representatives and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders were present.
The idea for the laboratory came from Marjorie and Stephen Cushman, a San Diego business leader and chairman of the college’s board of directors, who began the process by donating a lead gift of $100,000. The couple donated the money with a strict stipulation: the university must complete the project in one year or lose the funds.
“I know how education works,” Cushman said. “This could’ve easily been a three to five year project, but SDSU got it done within nine months.”
A campaign to raise funds for the project led to a $1 million donation from Wells Fargo Bank, which helped complete the project.
The lab, which is open to all students and staff, has 12 Bloomberg terminals and a Wharton financial database for students to use. Stock tickers and monitors are mounted on the wall, constantly displaying financial information from around the world.
“Bloomberg terminals are research engines, that if used properly you can predict trends of the latest and greatest,” SDSU Dean of the College of Business and Administration Michael Cunningham said.
“It really is the beginning of that overall vision of collaborative learning spaces,” SDSU Dean of Library and Information Access Dean Gale Etschmaier said. “Bringing a resource that might be primarily used by business students, but making available to the entire campus community.”
The lab is designed to educate students in markets and finance. Aside from having access to equipment similar to what experts use on Wall Street, students can receive specialized training and become Bloomberg certified.
“Students from across campus will have this deep, rich research tool that they can use from science projects to engineering projects,” Cunningham said.
SDSU alumnus Steve Bernstein the President of Business Banking in Southern California at Wells Fargo, said the contribution Wells Fargo made was a worthwhile investment.
“We don’t just hand money over and leave,” Bernstein said. “It’s really about involving ourselves in the community.”
Finance and Investment Society Vice President of Finance Brian Callaway encourages students, not just business and finance majors, to utilize the lab.
“Anybody that’s interested in starting their own business, working with the sciences, pharmaceuticals, anything like that, will also be really well served,” he said.
Callaway, a senior, is eager to use the lab to gain a competitive edge compared to other students seeking jobs after graduation in May.
The lab may also bring special distinction to SDSU. The lab has 12 Bloomberg terminals, compared to Duke University, regarded by many as the best business school in the nation, which has three terminals.
On Fridays, San Diego high school students will be able to use the lab and learn about different aspects of money and finances.
Sanders, who is also an SDSU alumnus, spoke to the crowd about the impact research grants and donations such as those from Wells Fargo have on the city.
“San Diego State is a tremendous economic generator for the community, with the jobs that it creates and the economic impact and with the grants that it receives,” Sanders said. “This is an exciting thing for the city of San Diego and the region.”
After the ceremony, guests were invited to tour the facility and were given a presentation on how the lab could be helpful for students.
“This is a great opportunity for our community to move forward (with) both our university community and the broader community working on issues of financial literacy, building on the research basis that our students, faculty and staff provide to local businessmen and then providing state-of-the-art technology and facilities for our students and staff to do their important work,” SDSU President Elliot Hirshman said.
-Tara Millspaugh, News Editor
-Antonio Zaragoza, Editor in Chief