WCSU, Union Savings Bank, partner in financial literacy
DANBURY, CONN. — At a time of rising indebtedness among college students and heightened economic uncertainty, Western Connecticut State University and Union Savings Bank (USB) have joined forces to create The Financial Literacy Institute at WCSU. The Connecticut State University System Board of Trustees approved creation of the institute in December.
The formation of the Institute is consistent with WCSU’s mission to prepare students for lifelong learning and leadership in work and society and with Union Savings Bank’s conservative approach to finance management. The institute will build on solid foundations for success, including the Personal Finance course offered by the Ancell School of Business curriculum and workshops presented during freshman orientation on credit card use and abuse. Student organizations such as the Finance Club also are expected to participate as peer-to-peer workshops are developed.
Topics such as how to create a budget, buy a car, and save enough to pay back student loans will be taught by the Institute, with the intent of helping students learn to make informed financial decisions that will benefit them throughout their lives. The Institute, which will operate through the Ancell School of Business, will be funded by Union Savings Bank for the first five years of operation. Recently retired USB Senior Vice President (and WCSU alumnus) Gary Lemme has been appointed the director of the Institute, which will hold its first classes in January.
“Our nation’s economic success rests with the ability of its citizens to understand personal finance and economics, and to put that understanding into practice,” said Dr. Allen Morton, dean of the Ancell School of Business. “Economic education helps students learn to make decisions about their personal and shared resources, their role in the economy, and the need for analytical thinking. In short, informed students will grow up to be informed citizens, workers, voters and taxpayers.”
John Kline, president of Union Savings Bank, said USB supports the initiative as a way to address the financial stability not only of WCSU students but of the region. “A key element of the Institute is teaching students to coach and mentor other students about financial literacy,” Kline said. “We envision this program spreading important financial life skills knowledge throughout the WCSU student body, into our communities as students enter the work force, and beyond.”
A series of workshops and seminars conducted by outside experts will be offered on basic financial skills and knowledge. Information will be provided in a variety of forms on topics such as budgeting, managing debt and credit cards, saving and investing, preventing identity theft, consumer rights and even retirement planning.
For more information, call the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.
Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.