An urban university such as Wichita State University has a wealth of businesses nearby, creating opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships. Another outstanding one is on the way to WSU in the form of the Koch Global Trading Center, thanks to a $346,000 lead gift from Koch Industries announced this week.
To be part of WSU’s W. Frank Barton School of Business as soon as next summer, the 800-square-foot lab in Clinton Hall will offer students the experience of a real-time trading environment, complete with full-color LED stock tickers and international data feeds and analysis software. The lab’s obvious value is to business majors whose sights are set on the financial and commodities markets. But WSU and Koch officials have a worthy broader goal of using the lab across disciplines to help students, wherever they end up in the workforce, better understand trading and how it serves businesses.
Private donors already have committed $272,000 more toward the $600,000 cost of the facility and its computer hardware and software. Another $400,000 will be raised for an endowment to fund equipment and software upgrades. WSU and Koch are working together on its curriculum and functions.
Others in the community and state should support the project – which serves WSU president John Bardo’s big thinking about bringing more companies to campus and more WSU-born ideas to the marketplace.