The Fairmont State Foundation board recently approved a $100,000 gift from the estate of Wendell Hardway to establish a student investment fund that will give students in the School of Business marketable skills they could use long after graduation.
And the gift is one that the school hopes will continue to give year after year.
The Hardway Student Investment Fund will allow School of Business students to manage a portfolio in real time, as opposed to a simulation, under the close supervision of faculty member Dr. Joe Kremer.
“Learning is reinforced when a student has the opportunity to put into actual practice the models and theories they are being taught in the classroom,” said Dr. Rick Harvey, dean of the School of Business. “We will use the Hardway Fund to facilitate the active learning students require to understand investment portfolio management principles.”
In addition to having an active fund managed by students, a lab will be established in Jaynes Hall that will have a few Bloomberg terminals featuring the computer software system considered to be the “gold standard” when it comes to analyzing data and completing electronic trades. Kremer said the lab should be established by fall 2018.
The investment in the Bloomberg terminals and the active portfolio to manage will mean that students graduating from Fairmont State University will already have key experience they can bring with them into the workplace, Kremer said.
“It certainly gives graduates a head start,” Kremer said. “When you’re using ‘real’ money, instead of a simulation, there’s a greater seriousness and a greater sense of pride for the students because we’re entrusting this portfolio with them, with some oversight.”
Kremer said the hopes are the fund will grow to the point where profits can be invested into scholarships and other educational opportunities for students in the School of Business.
“It is a tribute to Dr. Wendell Hardway and his years of service to Fairmont State that this gift will create an immediate impact by providing students with hands on real world investment experience while learning about various analytical techniques in the laboratory,” said RJ Gimbl, president and CEO of the Fairmont State Foundation.