Wall Street Comes to Main Street in Collegeville
This was Scott Deacle’s dream.
For years, the beloved late professor imagined a trading floor on the Ursinus College campus, where students could get real-world training and certification on state-of-the-art Bloomberg terminals. Wall Street right here on Main Street.
That dream is now a reality as the second floor of the Myrin Library is adorned with 12 terminals, which are interactive workstations that allow students to receive and analyze real-time financial data.
“There aren’t many liberal arts colleges that can say they have this resource, and this is giving our students a cutting edge as they enter the finance sector and begin their careers,” said Jennifer VanGilder professor and chair of business and economics. “It gives our students a leg up, and when they graduate, they’ll have Ursinus credentials and Bloomberg credentials. It will only make their experience here more powerful.”
VanGilder said the new trading lab isn’t just for finance majors. Capturing the spirit of an Ursinus education, it truly is a multidisciplinary venture, and students from any major can use the lab to gain one of three Bloomberg certifications. The e-learning courses expose students to financial markets, related career paths, and principles of sustainable investing.
“It allows, for example, an English major who might one day write about the industry become more well-versed in the finance world,” VanGilder said. “We have the opportunity to integrate this into all academic disciplines so that any student who wants to be Bloomberg certified can gain this experience. Understanding the market is important no matter what you’re studying.”
Evan Coffey ’24 is a finance major, and a chief curriculum officer of the Ursinus College Investment Management Company. He said, “This is such a powerful tool, but it’s user-friendly and has a wealth of information, and having access to it before entering the workforce is an advantage that I’m thankful for.”
VanGilder and Coffey said Deacle—who passed away in May 2023 and was instrumental in bringing a finance major to Ursinus—had envisioned a trading lab on campus for many years to complement and enhance undergraduate education. This “trading lab” is part of an ongoing effort to continue his legacy, one that includes the Scott Deacle Memorial Endowed Scholarship, for which Coffey is the inaugural recipient.
“We were always in the weeds together, crunching the numbers,” Coffey said. “He would have loved this.”
Ursinus joins more than 1,000 academic institutions across the globe with Bloomberg terminals. The space on the second floor of the Myrin Library is temporary. Ultimately, the terminals (nine of which were free) will move to another existing space on campus that will be reimagined as a trading floor, complete with a stock market ticker. And through partnerships and sponsorships, there is an opportunity to gain more terminals.
“I want it to be called the Deacle Trading Lab,” VanGilder said. “A collaborative learning space where students can work together and do research—a space where you can really feel the energy. I think that would speak to how passionate he was.”