Gift Strengthens Fisher’s Investment in the Walter and Barbara Parkes Trading Room

June 14, 2021

Finance students in the School of Business at St. John Fisher College will continue to have the opportunity for experiential learning in the investment world right on campus thanks to a $350,000 gift from Walter and Barbara Parkes.

A professor and student use the Bloomberg Terminals.

This new gift pledged an additional $300,000 to benefit the Walter and Barbara Parkes Trading Room Endowment, supporting the technology and equipment needs of the space. The Parkes also gifted the College’s Student Investment Club $50,000 to add to their investment portfolio.

“We are so grateful that Walt and Barbara have continued to provide avenues for Fisher students to immerse themselves in the financial industry,” said Dr. Gerard J. Rooney, president of the College. “Through the Parkes’ generosity, our students are seeing firsthand the benefits of experiential learning opportunities—which have long been a hallmark of a Fisher education—in a state-of-the-art, cutting-edge space.”

This gift builds on an earlier $500,000 investment on behalf of the Parkes to create the interactive trading lab in the Victor E. Salerno Center for American Enterprise, home of the School of Business. The lab, which officially opened in fall 2019, is equipped with access to 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.

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

The College’s subscriptions to the Bloomberg Terminal serves as a resource for both students and professors, enabling students to become familiar with tools used in financial services, reinforcing classroom theory, while professors use it to further their own research.

Finance students and members of the College’s Student Investment Club place trades through the electronic trading software, using the same technology employed by leading banks, corporations, and government agencies from around the globe.

“One of our greatest desires is to see students succeed in their major of choice.  St. John Fisher College is all about advancing their students to achieve their best educational experiences and opportunities,” said Mr. Parkes. “Promoting student success is one of the main reasons we donated the initial 12 Bloomberg machines to the School of Business.”

Recognizing that once technology is installed, it requires effort to keep it current, the Parkes’ second donation aims to ensure students are exposed to the most up-to-date software as they pursue their educations.

“We also donated funds to the Student Investment Club, for them to engage in “real live trading experiences” on the various stock exchanges,” Parkes added. “What they earn on their investments will strengthen their knowledge of the industry.”

To learn more about St. John Fisher College and the Fisher Forward campaign, visit