Thirteen Westminster students flew out of St. Louis this week to learn about the world of Wall Street firsthand when they visit New York City February 14-18 as members of the Blue Blazer Investment Committee (BBIC).
The group takes this trip every two years to gain an insider’s look at America’s business and financial centers.
Highlights of the trip will be attending the Opening Bell Ceremony at NASDAQ OMX and visits to New York Stock Exchange, JP Morgan Asset Management, Bloomberg Business News, Wells Fargo Securities, Fox Business Network and GAMCO/Cabelli Funds with portfolio manager Daniel Miller. Students will also get to meet and network with area alumni and friends of the College at a reception hosted by Sara Weir ’04 KKΓ at the National Down Syndrome Society from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 15.
The trip is always planned and coordinated by Brock Ayers ’82 ΔΤΔ, the founder of the Blue Blazers Investment Committee and mentor to the group, and the group’s advisor, Dr. Edward Mirielli, Chair of the Computer Science Department, with the assistance of Wells Fargo Advisors. Ayers is a Financial Advisor and First Vice-President-Investments at Wells Fargo Advisors and is a member of the Westminster College Board of Trustees.
“Every one of our Blue Blazers returns from New York with advice for being successful in the market world and guidance for their careers,” says Ayers. “Frequently, the time they are able to spend with Westminster alumni that are working in the New York financial markets opens up doors for them, leading to internships and employment.”
Established in 1996, the Blue Blazers Investment Committee is a selective, student-maintained investment committee that encourages intellectual growth and educates undergraduates on the use of investment vehicles in capital markets.
In 1996, the Westminster Board of Trustees allocated college endowment funds to the Blazers to invest in the stock market. The students do extensive research and then buy and sell equities to build and manage an actual investment portfolio. The group is self-governing and enjoys great autonomy over investment decisions. They are free to buy and sell stocks and other options. Through this experience, they receive the rare opportunity to experience how investing in the stock market works firsthand.
This will be the group’s ninth visit to New York. They have been featured on CNBC twice. During their first tour, they were able to stand in the twin towers. Coincidentally, the 9-11 attacks took place exactly seven months to the hour of the day of their visit.
“This is truly a team effort to make this trip possible with the private sector and the academic community partnering together,” says Ayers. “It is very much a cooperative process.”