Indiana State University Newsroom

Financial education gets boost from major donation

October 16, 2009


Indiana State University's financial services education program will benefit from a more than $1.3 million gift from Randall and Nancy Minas.

$350,000 of the gift is dedicated to the Randall and Nancy Minas Center for Investment and Financial Education Endowment. The remaining $1 million will support a financial trading room in the university's new College of Business building, the former Federal Building at Seventh and Cherry Streets in downtown Terre Haute.

"We are happy to make this gift because of the opportunities for financial education which can attract new students to Indiana State," Randall Minas said.

When the current Financial Trading Room first opened in 2007, it was one of only a handful at any university.

"Currently we are operating at capacity in the trading room," Nancy Merritt, dean of the College of Business, said. "With this generous gift, we will be able to double the size of the current trading room in the new College of Business building."

The university is undertaking a renovation of the Federal Building in downtown Terre Haute and plans to relocate the College of Business to that site.

ISU's commitment to improving business education for its students made the Minases want to support opportunities for hands-on education.

"Randy would hire high school or college students to work at Merrill Lynch in the summer and they had no hands-on experience," Nancy Minas said. "Seeing how they reacted to the summer hands-on experience let us know it could really improve their college education."

Minas' 2009 summer employees were members of the ISU Investment Club, which manages a real portfolio in the Financial Trading Room, and he was impressed with how adept they were in the world of investments.

"The Minases are wonderful people who have a history of making wise investments," said Indiana State President Daniel J. Bradley. "We deeply appreciate their decision to once again invest in our students by providing exceptional learning opportunities that will prepare them for the business world."

In the current trading room, students can watch two screens at once at each workstation. News feeds keep them abreast of current market conditions. When classes are taught in the room, the professor's presentation appears on one of the screens.

Creating a trading room in the college's new home will take much more than bricks and mortar, Randall Minas said.

"The biggest challenge is keeping up with technological changes," he said. With the endowment, ISU will be able to stay on the cutting edge of the market and change as quickly as change occurs.

"ISU has become a place for other schools to come to learn how to set up their own financial trading room," Merritt said. "We have hosted schools from Indiana, Ohio and even from across the globe."

The Minases' vision for the expanded financial trading room goes beyond ISU. Plans are in the works for continuing education night classes for the community as well as guest speakers. High school classes may also have opportunities to work in the trading room.

Financial services is one of two ISU programs to be designated a program of national distinction, thanks in part to a 2007 grant from Lilly Endowment to strengthen programs with national reputations of quality.

The Minases' passion about financial education at Indiana State is a family affair.

Randall Minas graduated cum laude from Indiana State in 1975 with a degree in management and a minor in accounting. He now serves the university on its board of trustees and is a certified financial planner and senior vice president with City Securities Corp., a private client group headquartered in Indianapolis.

Nancy Minas is helping the ISU Foundation as a member of its national campaign committee. Their second daughter, Dawn, earned degrees in business administration and psychology from ISU in 2003 and is a member of the alumni board. Their son Randy is pursuing an MBA and works in the College of Business. The family believes in the importance of education to prepare graduates for the workforce.

The Minas family is from Crown Point.

Photos: - The Financial Trading Room in Indiana State University's College of Business will double in size when the college moves to its new home in the former Terre Haute Federal Building. A gift from Randall and Nancy Minas will ensure that the room keeps pace with constantly changing technology. - From left to right, Nancy, Randall and Dawn Minas

Media contact: Kim Bloch, communications director, Indiana State University Foundation, 812-237-8875 or