BUIES CREEK, North Carolina – When Nathan Arp, a student in the Campbell University Lundy-Fetterman School of Business, first saw the completed First Citizens Wealth Management Center, he thought “Wow!”
The 7,254-square-foot center boasts 32 computer stations, nine 60-inch display monitors, a 55-inch touch screen panel, 105 feet of ticker that provides the latest stock quotes, and sophisticated financial software such as Bloomberg and TOLI Vault™ that you would find at firms around the world.
“It always seems like Campbell is on an endless pursuit to provide us with new opportunities,” said Arp, who is in Campbell Business’s 3/2 program, which will allow him to earn both an MBA and a trust and wealth management degree in five years. “This (the First Citizens Wealth Management Center) is just another example of how great Campbell is.”
Campbell dedicated the First Citizens Wealth Management Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, Oct. 14, that included dozens of trustees, Campbell Business students and faculty, university leaders, and First Citizens officials and other donors who made the center possible.
Located on the first floor of the business school, the state-of-the-art center simulates an investment firm environment, a trading room, and a trust center, as well as provides the latest tools and data that financial advisors use. First Citizens provided the lead gift of $250,000 to establish the center and expand experiential learning and research opportunities for students, faculty and the community.
“Without [First Citizens’ and other donors’] help, this would be just an idea or a concept on a board somewhere, but here it is today. We’re grateful for the difference you will make for our students,” said Campbell Business Interim Dean Edward Fubara. “The center will prepare [students] for the technology environments they will face in the workplace, facilitate research, help us continue to add new majors and teach new skills, and help us reach out to our community and serve our neighbors with education and service.”
Frank Holding Jr., CEO of First Citizens, said the bank supported the center because of the growing importance of the financial service industry and its relationship with Campbell that dates back 40 years.
“Over the years First Citizens has enjoyed a great partnership with Campbell, and we have been much more rewarded than what we have given,” he said. “I’m confident and proud that the First Citizens wealth management team will continue to play a vital role in Campbell Business’ mission to educate our future wealth leaders.”
Campbell officials began thinking of adding a wealth management center 20 years ago. Their idea was to create a cutting-edge classroom, to provide specialized training for business students, to graduate business students with real-world experiences, and to have a center that would compete with any business school’s in the country, said Jim Roberts, Campbell’s vice president for business and treasurer.
In recent years, Campbell officials visited similar centers at six universities in North Carolina, and they set out to create a center that took a step above each one they visited. Thanks to donors, the First Citizens Wealth Management Center does that, Roberts said. “This is a very special classroom that is going to do very special things for the students of Campbell.”
What makes the classroom so special, Campbell President J. Bradley Creed said, it that it is not only a state-of-the-art facility that will provide effective technological tools for the trust and wealth management program, the only one of its kind in the nation; but it will also have a direct impact on learning.
“It has the bells and whistles, but it will increase the academic quality of Campbell University, particularly in the area of information literacy,” he said. “If our students can become more fluent and competent in how they deal with information, particularly as it relates to the financial sector, we’ll give them a leg up for the rest of their lives.”
With the opening of the First Citizens Wealth Management Center, he added, Campbell took a step forward in technology and facilitating research, but the center is “a place where we can champion the hallmarks of a Campbell education — where students and faculty come together in learning experiences and where people matter. We just have a different venue for this now.”