Virginia Tech President Tim Sands, Pamplin College of Business Dean Robert Sumichrast, and a group of alumni, including advisory board members of the Apex Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, will ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange at 4 p.m. April 26 in celebration of the university’s initiatives in innovation and entrepreneurship.
The bell ringing is being sponsored by Virginia Tech alumni at two NYSE-listed companies: HubSpot, whose chief financial officer is John Kinzer, an accounting graduate, and On Assignment, which acquired Apex Systems, the information technology staffing company founded in 1995 by Brian Callaghan, Win Sheridan, and Jeff Veatch, who received degrees in psychology, political science, and finance, respectively, and that Ted Hanson, an accounting graduate, joined as chief financial officer in 1998.
Callaghan, Hanson, Sheridan, and Veatch contributed $5 million to support entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives at the university. The Apex Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Virginia Tech is named in recognition of their gift.
The four alumni and Kinzer will be among the guests on the bell podium at the event.
“Experiential entrepreneurial education goes beyond developing start-up companies, it builds the skills needed for a fulfilling and resilient life and career,” Sands said. “Our graduates must have a global perspective coupled with the ability to evaluate and act on new information as the economy evolves and new opportunities develop over the next several decades.”
Sands and Sumichrast also will host the annual Hokies on Wall Street reception, expected to draw more than 300 alumni, April 27 at Citigroup offices.
The Apex Systems Center, launched in 2014, strives to cultivate an atmosphere and culture that "unleashes creativity and sparks vision and innovation,” said its executive director, Derick Maggard, who will also lead 16 students on visits to several companies in the New York area that day and the next.
“We believe that innovation and entrepreneurship can be a powerful force in organizations of all types and sizes, in established businesses as well as new ventures," Maggard said. "It takes the entrepreneurial mindset to solve problems, make an impact, and innovate.”
“Ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange,“ said Sheridan, “is a wonderful way to mark the momentum and impact that the Apex Systems Center has had in inspiring and nurturing entrepreneurs and innovators at Virginia Tech.”
The NYSE is the premier global venue for capital raising, leading worldwide in initial public offerings since 2012, including technology IPOs.