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New trading room brings Wall Street into the Rohrer College of Business.

For students in the Rohrer College of Business, it’s the next best thing to working on Wall Street.

The Rowan University Trading Room Sponsored by Northwestern Mutual Financial Network officially opened September 26 with a Wall Street-style bell ringing.

The trading room – a modern, glass-walled space on the second floor of Bunce Hall, features a large interactive LCD touch screen monitor at the front and is flanked by bright multi-hued electronic tickers front and rear. The room also features 27 computer terminals to crunch data in near-real time.

Twin brothers and Rowan University alumni Andy and Scott Schwartz, both wealth management advisors with Bleakley, Schwartz, Cooney & Finney, LLC, Fairfield, a part of the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, spearheaded the drive to raise $120,000 to fund the trading room.

“In the end, this business is about working hard, not just trading well,” Andy Schwartz said following a brief morning bell ringing ceremony.

Other donors include the brothers’ colleagues John Cooney and Reed Finney; Eric Olson of The Olson Financial Group, Summit; Kevin Hassan of The Hassan Group, Philadelphia; Andrew Braun of The Mid Atlantic Financial Group, Mt. Laurel; and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, based in Milwaukee, which matched the individuals’ gifts.

Dr. Niranjan Pati, Dean of the Rohrer College of Business, said the trading room expands an ever-growing mission at Rowan to provide layers of experiential learning.

“This is all about having the equipment for students to learn by doing,” Dean Pati said.

He said the new trading room will help facilitate trading started by Rowan students last spring. Working with $100,000 from the William G. Rohrer Charitable Foundation, students have been buying and selling actual stocks based on their own market research.

Assistant Dean Margaret Van Brunt said there were close to 40 experiential learning projects throughout the College of Business during the 2010-11 academic year alone and, with the unveiling of the trading room, that trend continues.

Professor of Finance Dr. Gulser Meric said experiential learning helps students develop critical skills necessary to move from traditional classroom learning to success in the working world.

“There’s no substitute,” Dr. Meric said. “For finance majors, as well as our MBA students, the trading room will provide an environment for financial management experience.”

As a bright digital ticker flashed the latest financial news from the Dow 30 just above him, Dillon Carney, a graduate student pursuing an MBA in finance, said he couldn’t help being impressed with the new equipment.

“We no longer have to imagine what it’s like on Wall Street,” said Carney, 23, of Toms River. “Traditionally students would talk about trends in the stock market. Now we can see it in real time.”

Added senior finance major Ben Miller, “this, along with the student-managed investment fund, gives us experience managing money and dealing with the markets. Hopefully this will give us a leg up on students who don’t have that kind of experience.”

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