Financing the Future
St. Lawrence grant launches new Bloomberg Finance Lab
In March, St. Lawrence received its largest George I. Alden Trust grant award to create a new, state-of-the-art Bloomberg Finance Lab in Owen D. Young Library (ODY) in support of the new finance major.
St. Lawrence is one of only a handful of small liberal arts colleges to offer a major in finance; however, the Bloomberg Finance Lab will also be an asset to other courses of study in mathematics, economics, government, computer science, data analytics, as well as St. Lawrence’s signature multidisciplinary business in the liberal arts major.
Launched in 1981, before personal computers and the internet became ubiquitous, the Bloomberg Terminal brought real-time data, analytics, connections, and transparency to global financial markets and market participants. Today, the terminals are the industry standard for all industries working in finance—private, nonprofit, and government sectors.
Renovations are currently underway on the lower level of ODY to accommodate 15 additional student Bloomberg Terminal stations. The first Bloomberg Terminal was installed in 2019 and made possible by a generous donation of then senior Bobby Gates ’19. The Terminal had immediate returns.
“The Bloomberg Terminal was a useful tool for the team,” says Kai-Sigurd Jensen ’21, a member of the 2020 Fed Challenge team, “as it gave us access to institutional-grade data and research. But the real power was how easy it made aggregating a wide range of data…we were able to focus on analyzing data, which improved the quality of our final product.” St. Lawrence was the only liberal arts college to earn a spot in the final round of the national competition, ahead of 84 other colleges and universities, finishing second behind Dartmouth College.
With additional stations, more students and classes will be able to access comprehensive market data, use tools and charting capabilities, apply a variety of analytics, get breaking news and in-depth research, and experience stock market and securities activities in real time. A ticker-tape display is also planned for the renovation, bringing the trading floor to the heart of the St. Lawrence’s campus. More hands-on experience with market trading and investment management, including completing the Bloomberg Marketing Concepts Certificate Program—in which more than 150 students have initiated—would give students a competitive edge when transitioning from college to career.
“Numerous alumni working in the fields of finance, political science, and data analytics understand the depth and breadth of information accessible via the Bloomberg terminals in real time on a 24/7 basis,” says Jeff Dominick ’87, managing partner for AirWheel Investments, L.P. “The tremendous engagement of our alumni to help support and finance the existing terminal as well as invest in the new Bloomberg Finance Lab is another factor that sets St. Lawrence apart from many of its peer institutions.”
The Bloomberg Finance Lab is also an asset when recruiting students interested in St. Lawrence’s growing list of majors related to business, finance, and data analytics. With the terminals’ broad range of research capabilities, including direct access to sell-side and independent research from more than 1,500 sources, faculty-student research would be dramatically enhanced. The terminals also provide access to proprietary, analyst-driven research with a comprehensive view of industries and their key constituents at the sector, industry, and company levels.
“Alumni have always been critical to expanding access for students,” says Dominick, “and supporting new resources as well as the great work of the faculty leading the new majors is a logical partnership.”
The goal for this project is to raise $2 million in endowment support. Renovation funding has been secured, and fundraising for the additional software licensing and terminals is underway. The Bloomberg Finance Lab can be named by a donor at the $2 million level. Current use gifts (approximately $150,000 needed in FY23) will help bridge the gap in funding and build toward the endowment goal. The project has an anticipated opening in January 2023.
For more information on how you can support The Bloomberg Finance Lab at St. Lawrence or possible naming opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org.