Gift Helps St. John Fisher College School of Business Invest in New Trading Lab

March 13, 2019

The School of Business at St. John Fisher College will create an interactive trading lab complete with cutting-edge Bloomberg Technology, thanks to a $500,000 gift from Walter and Barbara Parkes.

Walter and Barbara Parkes

The gift will establish the Walter and Barbara Parkes Trading Lab, to be housed in the Victor E. Salerno Center for American Enterprise. The space will include 12 Bloomberg terminals, providing Fisher students real-time access to the latest data analytics technology and financial market data. Students studying finance and investments 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.

“The Parkes’ gift will take the Salerno Center to new heights by providing a state-of-the-market platform that translates course theory into practice in an interactive, truly impactful way,” said Dr. Rama Yelkur, dean of the School.

Yelkur added that the Parkes Trading Lab will also foster independent and collaborative research in industry analysis. Members of Fisher’s Investment Club, which manages a small stock portfolio, will make use of the technology as they make investment decisions related to their endowment.

 “This gift is not only an investment in technology, but in the future business leaders of our community,” said Dr. Gerard J. Rooney, president of the College. “We are grateful to Walter and Barbara for their support of our business programs; it allows us to continue to deliver our curriculum in an engaging, transformative manner.”

Walter Parkes, who serves as chairman of O’Connell Electric Company, and his wife, Barbara, are active philanthropists in the Rochester community, supporting organizations including the Pluta Cancer Center, St. Ann’s Community, and the Mary Parkes Center for Asthma, Allergy & Pulmonary Care at the University of Rochester Medical Center.