ST. CLOUD -- A new, donor-funded lab will allow St. Cloud State University students to keep an eye on the stock market and examine how their investment choices impact a university fund.

St. Cloud State University cut the ribbon on the new Ron '69 and Bonnie '68 Swenson Financial Markets Lab on Friday afternoon.

The frosted glass-walled lab, located on the first floor of Centennial Hall, features 20 computer stations, equipment for presentations and a stock market ticker running along the ceiling outside of the lab. The ticker includes real-time information on the Husky Growth Fund, a university-owned portfolio students manage as a team.

The space will be used as a classroom as well as a lab, and can hold up to 40 students at one time.

The lab was made possible by a $1 million donation from university alums Ron and Bonnie Swenson. Bonnie Swenson says the lab reflects her passion for education, her husband's for investing, and their shared desire to provide real-world learning opportunities for students.

"It gives them that hands-on working experience they can take out into the community, and prepares them for what they're going to be involved with in the future," Swenson says. "I think it's just wonderful."

Swenson was the first member of her family to attend college. She says her time at St. Cloud State, where she majored in Elementary Education, turned her into a lifelong learner.

"It opened up a world to me. I think that St. Cloud State University really prepared me for what I would encounter in my career. It was a rich experience for me to be here."

Additional funding for equipment was provided by alum and donor Sherry Smith, a former Supervalu Inc. executive.

The program also included remarks by Herberger Business School Dean Dave Harris, finance major Stuart Hamann and University President Robbyn Wacker, followed by reception and lab tours.