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Penn State Smeal College of Business receives $1 million estate commitment

September 25, 2018

The Schocks
Bruce R. and Donna Schock both studied and first met at Penn State. The couple has made a $1 million estate commitment to create a professorship in finance.
The Penn State Smeal College of Business received a $1 million estate commitment from Bruce R. Schock ′70 FIN, ′73g ECON and his wife, Donna ′73 ACCTG, to create the Bruce R. Schock Professorship in Finance.

Bruce gets emotional when talking about his student experiences at Penn State.

“The University offered opportunities I never would have had at a smaller college,” he said. “I came to Penn State to study engineering, but during my sophomore year, I enrolled in an introductory finance course taught by Joe Bradley that was just fascinating and it opened my eyes to things I wasn’t aware of. Dr. Bradley took the time to help me understand career options for a finance major; he was very encouraging and positive. I switched majors, going from engineering to finance, and it truly changed the course of my life.”

Following graduation, Bruce worked as assistant to a hospital administrator outside of Philadelphia, before enrolling in a local MBA program. Citing course content that was too similar to his undergraduate education, Bruce withdrew from that program and returned to Penn State to pursue a graduate degree in economics.

“I worked as a research assistant for Philip Klein, who was just an outstanding man,” he said. “Dr. Klein understood there was more than one way to accomplish something and he gave me the freedom and the confidence to be innovative in my approach.”

Bruce met his wife, Donna, during his graduate studies.

“I came to Penn State as an employee and started to take courses that I found interesting,” she said. “But like Bruce, I found faculty had a positive influence on my experience as I explored areas like accounting, computer science, and economics. There is such a breadth of opportunity at Penn State that really prepares you for success, all within this idyllic community setting. And it was powerful to have faculty members who made such a difference.”

Endowed faculty positions, like the Bruce R. Schock Professorship in Finance, enhance the University’s reputation and signal its commitment to pursuing academic excellence.

“A vital and engaged faculty is essential to our success,” said Charles H. Whiteman, John and Becky Surma Dean of the Smeal College of Business. “Endowed faculty positions are fundamental to our efforts to recruit and retain superior educators. These positions allow top faculty to fund research projects and enhance course materials to take their scholarship to the next level, and I am grateful to Bruce and Donna for their passion and vision.”

“Bruce and Donna are campaign leaders for us,” said Nathan Leopard, director of major gifts. “They have such vibrant memories from their time at Penn State, they’ve both gone on to very successful careers, and they are both motivated to make a difference.”

Bruce knew, even as an undergraduate, that he wanted to own his own business but understood that there’s no formal path that could prepare him to lead. He credits Penn State for giving him the breadth of perspective that is crucial to any leadership role. Donna was quick to add that Penn State prepared each of them for success by allowing them the flexibility to customize their education in positive, transformational ways.

“I know that I would not be where I am today if I had gone to any other school,” he said.

In 2012, Bruce founded Trinity Trading Group, a registered commodity trading advisor, and manages a currency trading program that utilizes his own proprietary trading strategies. He serves as principal, president, and chief executive officer and is responsible for all trading and operational decisions for the company.

“Donna and I believe strongly that, to the extent that we can, we want to be a benefit to others. If we see an area where we can make a difference, we are oriented to do that,” Bruce said. “There’s a place in our hearts for Penn State and we are happy to give back to a place that has given so much to us.”

The Schocks are partners in the truest sense of the word.

“We bring different things to our partnership, but we have a common goal,” Bruce said. “If we could share one thing with other alumni, it would be this: If they are honest with themselves, they have to realize Penn State was foundational in creating the opportunity to achieve success in their own careers. Giving back, helping new students on their Penn State journey is a good thing.”

This gift will advance "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a twenty-first-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu.

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