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Whitworth students explore the world of finance through investment group

April 8, 2013

The Whitworth Student Investment Group (WSIG) was founded in April 2012 by a small number of Whitworth students. The students designed a proposal for the investment group and presented it to the board of trustees, who, in turn, agreed to provide them with funding. WSIG received approximately $100,000 to be managed in equities and exchange-traded funds.

WSIG has now grown to around 40 students. They meet at 6:15 a.m. every Thursday. These meetings include discussions of current events, stock pitches, portfolio allocation, and learning new material. The investment group is made up of students from a variety of majors. Brian “Duff” Bergquist, executive-in-residence for the Whitworth School of Global Commerce & Management, is the club’s advisor.

WSIG’s mission is to “provide students with real-life investing scenarios by actively participating in the trade of securities; to give students the tools to gain exposure to markets and the investing world; and to allow students to influence the management of Whitworth’s financial resources and future.”

The club has set up a virtual trading room in search of grant money. Members are actively searching for a new space and funding to set up an actual trading room. All of their trading is currently done through online brokerages like Charles Schwab. The investment returns will be kept in the Whitworth endowment.

“I decided to become involved in the group when James King, ’12, approached me and asked if I would be interested in helping him make this group a reality,” says senior Austin Vierra, WSIG’s current president. “With a longtime passion for investing and capital markets, I felt it was a great opportunity for me, both personally and professionally.”

Vierra is an economics and international business double-major. He is considering several options after graduating Whitworth, such as accepting an offer to work at US Bank or pursuing a master’s degree in finance.

Next year’s WSIG leadership will be Josif Ilisoi, ‘16, Casey Judson, ’16, Ashley Sievers, ‘15, and Aaron Vaccaro, ‘14.

The WSIG is not chartered through ASWU or directly tied to the Whitworth School of Global Commerce & Management.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Lucas Beechinor, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or