Philanthropy

Planting SEEDs for the future

Photographs of Jay Rosenstock and Trey Snow
Alumni Trey Snow (left) and Jay Rosenstock have pledged gifts to create the SEED Alumni Fund for Excellence.

Not many undergraduates get an opportunity to gain hands-on experience managing a stock portfolio, but Jay Rosenstock (FIN ’95) and Trey Snow (FIN ’93, MBA ’95) did just that as participants in the Virginia Tech Student Endowment for Educational Development Program, better known as SEED.

They both say that experience made them stand out from other job candidates after graduating.

In gratitude, and to help the program continue to excel, Rosenstock and Snow recently pledged significant donations to create the SEED Alumni Fund for Excellence.

Leeway, flexibility

“SEED has always been a very forward looking organization,” says Snow, a resident of Mechanicsville, Va., who most recently was a senior vice president of Priority Capital Management. “We wanted to give it that leeway and flexibility to grow in directions that even we can’t foresee.”

Rosenstock lives in Harrison, N.Y., and is senior vice president for corporate development at Discovery Communications. He says he and Snow chose to donate because “Trey and I wanted to make sure the program has the right level of funding and capacity to continue to secure top-notch students and provide them a platform to … secure jobs at the large money centers around the world — New York, London, and other places.”

Photograph of three students standing in New York City
The New York Stock Exchange is an essential stop during SEED members’ visit to Wall Street each fall.

$4 million in stocks

SEED invests in stocks, using more than $4 million from Virginia Tech Foundation. The foundation allocates 1 percent of the university’s endowment to SEED’s management. BASIS, a student team that invests in bonds, manages 1 percent as well.

Snow was CEO of SEED during his senior year. He says the program’s emphasis on teamwork requires students to develop group-decision-making skills that are essential in the finance industry.

“Most times, if you are managing institutional money, you are working in a group setting … which we all had [in SEED] as well,” he says.

Reaching out to other alumni

Rosenstock and Snow are reaching out to other SEED alumni to encourage them to contribute to the program’s new alumni fund. They, and university officials, are looking to organize gatherings of SEED alumni at several locations. To learn more, please e-mail mbegly@vt.edu, using SEED Alumni Fund in the subject line.

SEED Alumni Fund for Excellence

The SEED Alumni Fund aims to help SEED members with asset allocation, stock selection, and other portfolio management activities by enabling them to purchase such services and equipment as live data feeds of market information, specialized databases and software, and subscriptions to investment newsletters. The fund may also be used to support awards recognizing outstanding performance by SEED members, with emphasis on non-investment related contributions; campus visits by industry professionals; and activities to promote the program within the campus community and to the general public.

Group photograph of all the members of the 2009 SEED team
The SEED team (2009 team pictured) manages and invests more than $4 million of the university endowment.


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