Parkes Trading Lab Officially Open at Fisher

September 6, 2019

During a ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 4, the St. John Fisher College School of Business marked the opening of the Walter and Barbara Parkes Trading Lab.

Vic Salerno, Walter and Barbara Parkes, Anthony Kousmanidis, Dean Rama Yelkur, and President Gerard Rooney cut the ribbon on the newly opened Parkes Trading Lab.

The newly opened space features Bloomberg Terminals, a software platform that provides real-time and historical data and market moving news and analytics to help leading business and financial professionals worldwide make better-informed investment decisions. The interactive lab was made possible thanks to a $500,000 gift from Walter and Barbara Parkes.

“Yesterday marked the first day of classes, and the first time our students saw the lab complete,” said Dr. Rama Yelkur, dean of the School. “They were excited to get started, and we are excited to watch them learn here.”

In addition to the nine Bloomberg Terminals in the trading lab, the Parkes’ gift enabled the College to acquire three additional terminals, two of which are elsewhere in the Salerno Center and one that is located in Lavery Library.

Student Emilie German offers a demo of the Bloomberg Terminals in the newly opened Walter and Barbara Parkes Trading Lab.

Student Emilie German offers a demo of the Bloomberg Terminals in the newly opened Walter and Barbara Parkes Trading Lab.

“The importance of experiential learning cannot be overstated. For our School of Business students, they participate in experiential learning in myriad ways, from internships to service-learning courses, and now, thanks to the Parkes Trading Lab, they will benefit from a simulated learning experience that will set them apart,” said Dr. Gerard J. Rooney, president of the College. “This is the true definition of experiential learning, and we are forever grateful to Walt and Barbara for supporting our students in this way.”

The College's subscriptions to the Bloomberg Terminal will serve as a resource for both students and professors. It will enable students to become familiar with tools used in financial services, reinforcing classroom theory, while professors will use it to further their own research. Finance students and members of the College’s Student Investment Club will have the opportunity to place trades through the electronic trading software, using the same technology employed by leading banks, corporations, and government agencies from around the globe.

Anthony Kousmanidis, who serves as chair of the board of the Investment Club, added that its members would benefit greatly from the new software. “Many of us want to break into the financial world and this gives Fisher students the opportunity to earn certification and market ourselves in ways we haven’t been able to do so before,” he said.