Xavier's Fifth Third Trading Center largest in U.S.

Three years ago, Xavier University business students, faculty and staff first got access to one of the must-have Wall Street trader tools, The Bloomberg Terminal. These terminals, with their dual computer screens, are used by financial services firms across the world. Available at just a few hundred universities nationwide, the terminals give students access to valuable, real-time financial information, including stock market movements, news and price quotes.

Within the last year, Xavier has built a Wall-Street style trading room, complete with stock tickers, expanding to 44 Bloomberg terminals from the original 10. It's now the largest center of its type in the country, and recently got a financial boost with an underwriting pledge from the Fifth Third Foundation.

Fifth Third's support will give the center stability, and help pay for staff and the cost of leasing the terminals. It will allow the college to train students and faculty from a wide variety of majors to cull financial and other information from the terminals, says Xavier Finance professor Stafford Johnson.

"We'll be able to put together one- or two-hour workshops and teach students how to navigate the depth and breadth of this system," he says.

Johnson compared the terminal to a targeted and highly sophisticated version of an Internet search engine and newswire service. The terminals could be used for projects in business law and ethics, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, as well as for management, marketing, economics and political science.

Now named the Fifth Third Trading Center, the trading room is located in Xavier's newly erected Smith Hall, the home of its nationally ranked Williams College of Business.

Other information students can access includes stats related to GDP, housing starts, worldwide economic forecasts and statistics, and corporate and government news.

By the fall, the center hopes to start a student-produced monthly newsletter to highlight local financial news gleaned from the terminal programs, Johnson says.

"The idea is to bring people together and share ideas," he says.

By Feoshia Henderson

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