THE TIGERS OF
WALL STREET The generosity of a philanthropist will mean big gains for University of Memphis students.
by Gabrielle Maxey By this fall, part of the bustling first floor of the Fogelman College of Business & Economics (FCBE) will become even busier as it’s transformed into a facsimile of a Wall Street trading firm. In May, Michael Cook, founder and CEO of SouthernSun Asset Management, and his wife, Jennifer, committed $1 million toward establishing a state-of-the-art finance trading lab in the Fogelman College. The agreement included a $500,000 matching pledge, bringing the total endowment to $1.5 million. The Cook Trading Lab will offer innovative tools to help supplement traditional classroom teaching and provide resources to help business students stay on the cusp of a fast-changing industry. The technology and data center will give students experience through practical, handson learning in an academic environment. “Michael Cook’s remarkable generosity will have a profound and enduring impact on the lives of our students and the broader Memphis community,” says President M. David Rudd. “It’s a gift that provides a 24
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solid foundation for an innovative, cutting-edge educational experience that will help prepare our students and develop the skills necessary for a highly competitive job market.” The Lab will mimic an actual Wall Street office. It will be equipped with glass walls, real-time tickers and 12 Bloomberg Terminals. The terminals allow users access to the Bloomberg Professional Service, where they can monitor and analyze real-time financial and market data and place trades on an electronic platform. The system also provides news, price quotes and messaging across its proprietary secure network. FCBE students will be able to run simulations with actual data and observe how their decisions could actually impact the market – tasks that can be difficult to track using free web-based services. “Our goal at the Fogelman College is to reduce the gap between what is taught in the classroom and what actually happens in a professional environment,” says Dr. Rajiv Grover, the College’s dean.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS
University of Memphis Fall Magazine