Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business celebrated 100 years of educating the world’s business leaders by ringing the bell on finance’s biggest stage. On July 27, Dean Ed Grier had the honor of ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
“Well, one of our alums works on the trading floor and so we reach out to him and said, ‘Could we ring the opening or closing bell?’” recalled Grier. “Of course, there’s protocols, typically for companies. But we asked, and he knows the operation folks here, and they said, ‘We have a spot for you.’ And that’s how it happened. So, it was pretty quick.”
Grier was joined on the NYSE by business school alumni, current faculty and other members of the Santa Clara University team that helped build Leavey School into what it is today. The University also held a reception after the event to welcome more alumni and previous faculty to celebrate the milestone.
When asked about his experience on the NYSE floor, Grier said there’s a lot of pressure to do it right the first time and there are no practice runs beforehand.
“You don’t push the button and it goes. So, there’s a countdown. For that you have to time it correctly,” said Grier. “And you’re going to be holding the button down. And if you let it go, the bell would stop. But you don’t want the bell to stop until the market closes. There’s a little bit of a timing, but nothing really tough. But I was like, ‘Okay, don’t screw this up.’”
Grier says this is just the start of the business school’s 100 year anniversary celebration. There will be more to come in the next few months including a grand gala at the end of the year.
He says while it’s nice to look back on the past, he’s very focused on what the next 100 years can bring to the school.
“I would say 100 years is a long time. And we’re respectful for that. But we’re looking toward the future,” said Grier.
The future includes a new strategic plan called Leavey PLUS.
“It’s an acronym that has all our power behind it. So, PLUS is partnerships. And we have great partners in the Valley and beyond,” said Grier. “The L is for leadership, so we’re really focused on what type of leaders we want the students to be once they leave.
“The U is from a unification standpoint, collaborations across the globe, and clearly at the university,” continued Grier. “And the S is for sustainability, which is pretty broad, but that includes diversity, equity, inclusion, sustainable business practices and sustainable issues around the world.”
The Leavey School of Business started in 1923 to meet a growing demand for business courses following World War I. Then, it was called the College of Commerce and Finance. 35 students were part of the school’s first full year of operations. Today, the college has more than 2,500 students participating in all of its programs.