Student Trading Club Receives Surprise Gift of Impact
A ceremony designed to recognize the success of students participating in the Penn State Altoona Trading Club unexpectedly evolved into a philanthropic celebration when Dr. Carroll P. and Diane S. Osgood, of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, presented a gift to the college to sustain their original funding of the club’s activities.
The ongoing philanthropic support of the Osgoods enables the Penn State Altoona Trading Club to present monetary awards to students managing an investment portfolio on a virtual trading platform while acquiring a broader understanding of how financial markets function.
During the awards ceremony to announce the winners of the fall semester competition, which began October 1 and concluded November 29, 2012, the Osgoods presented a $500 ceremonial check to Justin Merrell, a freshman from Gaithersburg, Maryland, who placed first by expanding his portfolio approximately $9,000 over two months of virtual trading. Trading Club advisor Robert E. Belsterling praised Merrell for excelling as the market dropped nearly 500 points during the trading period for a 3.6 percent loss.
The Osgoods’ original gift made it possible for the Trading Club to present awards totaling $1,500 to the ten students with the highest portfolio values on the final day of trading. Each award was based on a student’s ranking on the virtual trading platform. The original gift also supported the Trading Club’s field trip this past fall to the Museum of American Finance in Lower Manhattan and an escorted walking tour of the Financial District that focused on the political, financial, and architectural history of Wall Street and New York City.
Awards funded by the Osgoods’ original gift were first presented for the 2012 spring semester competition. All awards are credited to the students’ Penn State accounts to defray educational expenses.
“Ozz and I are pleased to provide a gift that supports students participating in a valuable academic program designed to supplement classroom learning,” said Diane Osgood. “I am fond of a quote by the late Fred Rogers: ‘The real issue in life is not how many blessings we have, but what we do with our blessings.’ Our hope is that students in the Trading Club will long benefit from their experience and enjoy success in their chosen profession."
N. Susan Woodring, director of Development and Alumni Relations at Penn State Altoona, said gifts like those presented by the Osgoods to the Trading Club enhance traditional classroom learning and enrich the overall academic experience, tenets of Penn State’s historic fundraising campaign, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students.
“Every gift to Penn State Altoona—no matter the amount—has the potential to impact a student’s intellectual, physical, and social development,” Woodring said. “It is thrilling for me to partner with our benefactors to identify areas of need that match their personal interests. I welcome every opportunity to meet with our alumni and friends who are eager to make a difference in the lives of our students. As our benefactors around the country have told me many times, there are few things in life more rewarding than helping others achieve their goals and realize their dreams.”
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