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Rogers $1 Million Gift to Smeal Challenges Alumni to Match

Penn State alumni and longtime benefactors J. David and Patricia Maloney Rogers have expanded their commitment to the Smeal College of Business with a $1 million challenge gift to fuel fundraising for the Rogers Family Trading Room in the Business Building.
October 14, 2011

Penn State alumni and longtime benefactors J. David and Patricia Maloney Rogers have expanded their commitment to the Smeal College of Business with a $1 million challenge gift to fuel fundraising for the Rogers Family Trading Room in the Business Building.

The Rogers Trading Room Challenge will match gifts made to the Trading Room Endowment dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million, with the goal of adding $2 million to the fund. Income from the Trading Room Endowment is used to support the Rogers Family Trading Room, which was established in 2001 with a $1.1 million gift from David and Patricia Rogers.

The state-of-the-art Trading Room replicates a real-world trading experience and functions as a financial classroom and a laboratory for undergraduates, graduate students and researchers. Students in the Trading Room use dataset resources to simulate trading, portfolio management, and other finance-related models. Each of the dual-monitor workstations is equipped with the software needed for virtually any finance-related activity. Real-time stock tickers and data boards offer important financial information. Video conferencing capabilities integrated into the room's infrastructure allow users to connect globally with faculty, students, alumni, subject experts, and corporate partners.

"Tricia and I have seen so many students land exciting jobs and advance quickly early in their careers thanks in part to their experience in the Trading Room, and we want that to continue," said David Rogers, chief executive officer of J.D. Capital Management, a private investment firm located in Greenwich, Conn. "We hope to encourage alumni who have benefited from their experiences in the Trading Room over the past ten years, and all alumni who know they would have benefited from this type of hands-on learning, to support the Trading Room for the next generation of Smeal students."

In addition to its role as a classroom and laboratory, the Rogers Family Trading Room is home to the Nittany Lion Fund, a $3.75 million-dollar student-managed stock portfolio. Unlike most student-managed investment funds around the country, which are backed by university endowments, the Nittany Lion Fund relies on investments from individual investors. Since its inception in 2005, more than 110 student fund managers have secured full-time employment at leading investment firms including BlackRock, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley.

"Since the establishment of the Trading Room and the Nittany Lion Fund, Smeal placements on Wall Street have climbed significantly," said James B. Thomas, the John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal. "Thanks to Dave and Tricia's vision for the Trading Room, it has enriched the educational experience of so many of our students. We're very grateful for their continued support of the Trading Room and their initiative to involve their fellow alumni in the cause."

David Rogers graduated from Smeal in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in accounting and earned his M.B.A. from Smeal in 1980. Patricia Rogers earned her bachelor's degree from Penn State in mechanical engineering in 1979. The couple has a long history of philanthropic giving to Penn State, including two gifts totaling $5 million in support of the construction of the Business Building and the endowment of the David and Tricia Rogers MBA Fellowship. In recognition of their exceptional generosity in support of Penn State, the University recognized the couple as the 2006 Penn State Philanthropists of the Year. In addition, David Rogers received the MBA Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award in 1995 and was named an Alumni Fellow in 2000. He is a member of the Smeal Board of Visitors and serves on the Penn State Investment Council.

After earning his M.B.A. at Smeal, David Rogers started his career as a financial analyst at Mobil Oil. He later accepted a position as trader and analyst with Goldman Sachs, eventually becoming co-head of Goldman Sachs' equity derivatives department in 1992 and a partner in the firm. He left Goldman Sachs in 2001 to start his own investment firm. J.D. Capital Management is a private investment portfolio, structured as a limited partnership, open to accredited investors.

After graduating from Penn State, Patricia Maloney Rogers worked for PPG Industries and Clairol, Inc. She went on to earn an M.B.A. from the University of Connecticut. Since leaving Clairol in 1985, she has focused on raising the couple's two children (both Penn State graduates) and volunteering for several nonprofit organizations, including the United Way and Person-to-Person, a Stamford, CT, area human services agency.

For more information or to give in support of the Rogers Challenge, contact Todd Sloan, Smeal's director of development, at toddsloan@psu.edu.

Gifts to the Rogers Challenge count toward the Smeal College of Business goals in For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. This University-wide effort is directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America. The University is engaging Penn State's alumni and friends as partners in achieving six key objectives: ensuring student access and opportunity, enhancing honors education, enriching the student experience, building faculty strength and capacity, fostering discovery and creativity, and sustaining the University's tradition of quality. The campaign's top priority is keeping a Penn State degree affordable for students and families. The For the Future campaign is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State's history, with the goal of securing $2 billion by 2014.

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