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Student Participates In NASDAQ Closing Bell


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NASDAQ is among the largest and oldest electronic stock exchanges in America, located in an imposing spire on 43rd and Broadway in Times Square. Stock prices flash across its massive displays, and huge LED screens on the outside of the building display prices and advertisements until the closing bell ceremony, held every day at the end of the regular trading session at 4 p.m. The closing bell ceremony gives NASDAQ an opportunity to showcase the activities of favored businesses and charities.

On Friday, June 17, the honor of ringing the bell was given to Claes Nobel, the founder of the National Society of High School Scholars and great-nephew of Alfred Nobel, the creator of the Nobel Prizes. The assembly was an impressive gathering of Ivy League students, university professors, and ambitious students selected by the NSHSS on the basis of their academic achievements. The NSHSS provides several member-only scholarships every year up to and including two scholarships of $5,000 apiece, named for its founder: the Claes Nobel Academic Scholarship and the Claes Nobel Earth Ethics Doctoral Scholarship.

The NASDAQ building’s huge glass windows afford a beautiful view of Times Square, and when a brief but fierce rainstorm struck we were all mesmerized by the fierce winds and rain, and also by the sight of vendors fleeing from the rain and then proceeding as if nothing had happened once the storm passed. One particularly courageous and hardy individual rushed out into the rain with an umbrella rack and tried to sell his wares to pedestrians caught in the storm.

Nobel gave a brief speech before ringing the bell. He was surrounded by university presidents and a giant wraparound screen with stock prices whizzing by his head. He rang the bell at exactly 4 p.m., calling to a halt the traders’ day. He then went up to the second floor of the NASDAQ building and addressed the NSHSS students directly. During his second speech Nobel, a famous environmentalist, bemoaned the desecration of the natural world and implored the scholars to use their talents and live their lives in a constructive way. His foundation is dedicated to recognizing the kind of excellence that might one day earn scholars his more famous uncle’s prize.

Filip Bablievsky, Verona High School Class of 2012, was selected to participate in NSHSS.

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