URI grad with national reputation as a top money manager
makes $250,000 gift for trading room at business college
KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 7, 2003 -- A University of Rhode Island graduate who has forged a reputation as one of the top money managers in the country has made a $250,000 gift to establish a stock trading room in the renovated and expanded Ballentine Hall on URIs Kingston Campus.
Through his donation, Bruce S. Sherman, a 1969 graduate of the URI College of Business Administration, wants to give business students and faculty at URI access to the world of global marketplace securities trading.
"Bruce greatly enjoyed his time as an undergraduate at the University," said Associate Vice President for Development Paul Witham. "He learned valuable life lessons in and out of the classroom, and he is truly grateful to the faculty, fellow classmates and other URI friends for his time here.
"In recognition of Bruces commitment and generosity, the trading room will be forever named the Bruce S. Sherman Trading Room," Witham said.
After earning his bachelors degree in accounting, Sherman went to work for a national accounting firm and in 1986, founded Private Capital Management in Naples, Fla., a firm focused on managing funds for affluent individuals, corporations and the non-profit sector. In August 2001, Sherman sold Private Capital Management to Legg Mason where he is presently responsible for the management of more than $12 billion in assets as its chief executive officer and chief investment officer.
"I enjoyed my four years at URI, and I had a great education in accounting and finance," Sherman said. "I am very fortunate to have had success in life, which has in large part been oriented toward Wall Street. I felt this was an opportunity to give students an opportunity to learn about Wall Street in real time.
"Some alumni give of their time and talent while others give of their treasures," he added. "Being 1,200 miles away, I felt I could give of my treasures."
The trading room will be located on the first floor of the new Ballentine Hall, which is in the final stages of a $10.6 million transformation and expansion. The building will reopen on Wednesday, June 4 with a ribbon cutting ceremony beginning at 2:45 p.m.
College of Business graduate Richard Harrington, class of 1973, president and chief executive officer of The Thomson Corp., chaired the Ballentine Shareholders Campaign, the private fund drive that raised $5.6 million. Harrington made a $250,000 donation at the outset of the project and then made a $100,000 combined contribution from him and Thomson. He and his company are also donating Thomson One, the leading financial analysis database in the world for the trading center.
"The trading room will provide access to financial data and information that will give our students a distinct advantage over graduates of other business schools," said Edward Mazze, dean of the college and the Alfred J. Verrecchia-Hasbro Inc. Leadership Chair in Business. "The technology is second to none and what you would find on the floor of any major stock exchange."
The trading room, which will have 16 workstations, will provide the students with up-to-the-minute news coverage so they can analyze financial information as it relates to world and national events. Accounting and finance majors, as well as students participating in the Ram Fund, a stock trading program funded by the URI Alumni Association, will spend a great deal of time in the trading room. It will also be open to all business students and other non-business majors at URI.
Mazze said that while students wont be able to execute actual trades in the facility, they will be able to simulate stock trades and purchases, as well as analyze financial information from markets around the globe.
Shermans major commitment to the trading room and Harringtons long-term support of the entire Ballentine renovation and expansion project will provide students with an unmatched learning facility, Mazze said.
"It will also strengthen URIs alliances with the Rhode Island and regional financial services industry," Mazze said. "It will prepare the future leaders in finance for the global marketplace, reinforce the Universitys commitment to academic excellence for graduates and the businesses that hire them and integrate business knowledge and theory into professional practice through the practical, hands-on application of financial strategies and market behavior analysis."
The trading room will also foster student/faculty interaction with financial industry experts.
Sherman was on campus when Ballentine Hall opened in 1967, and "I thought it was the greatest thing in the world."
The academic and business environments have changed dramatically since he was a student. "When I got to URI, electronic calculators were just becoming popular. I remember when I passed the CPA exam, my father bought me a Sharp calculator. It was the latest business tool."
Thats why he is so impressed with the Ballentine project and the general direction of URI. "The current administration is on the right track, and I want to be part of the rebuilding process. A state school can have such an impact on students. I was one out-of-stater who had the full collegiate experience. I was a member of Phi Sigma Delta fraternity. I lived down-the-line and I went to every home basketball game."