Manager of Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund joins Smeal advisory board

May 14, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Charles H. Whiteman, John and Becky Surma Dean of the Smeal College of Business, has announced that Sonu Kalra, a 1993 graduate in finance, recently joined the college's Finance Advisory Board.

Kalra joined Fidelity as a stock analyst in 1998. He was appointed the sector leader for Fidelity's technology analysis team in 2002 and began managing the Fidelity Select Technology Portfolio and the Fidelity VIP Technology Portfolio funds. He was named primary manager of the Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund, a top-performing large-cap growth fund, in 2009.

“I’ve been fortunate to have the professional opportunities that I’ve had,” Kalra said. “Now I am at a point in my career where it’s time for me to give back.”

Kalra expressed gratitude for the education he received at Penn State.

“Smeal has done a wonderful job building on a strong foundation and really taking it to the next level by providing students with real-world experiences, such as the Rogers Family Trading Room,” he said.

“As a student, talking to alumni was one of the best experiences for me. It helped me learn more about the professional opportunities that were available to me, and I want to be able to share that knowledge with today’s students. I am also excited to help shape the curriculum so that students are positioned to begin their careers in this dynamic field.”

David Marcinek, co-chair and founding member of the board, welcomed Kalra.

“We have assembled a group of alumni who are committed to improving the quality of finance education at Smeal. Sonu brings more than 20 years of investment experience to the group, and I am confident that his voice will elevate Smeal’s standing in the investment community,” he said.

Marcinek’s fellow co-chair, Craig Chobor, also welcomed Kalra's addition to the board.

“Sonu has built a very successful career in a highly demanding profession. Mentoring students is important to Sonu, and I expect he will be a terrific role model for them,” Chobor said. 

The Finance Advisory Board comprises prominent alumni in the finance and investment communities. Board members meet twice each year — one time on the University Park campus and one time in New York City — to advise the faculty and administration on matters related to the strategic direction of the department, to work with students in the classroom and through mentoring roles, to facilitate internship opportunities, and to encourage research and collaboration between faculty and students.

“It is important to Smeal’s success that our faculty and students be actively engaged with successful alumni, like Sonu,” Whiteman said. “He’s a highly respected investment manager, and we are fortunate to benefit from his years of professional experience.”

Whiteman pointed to the importance of the board in shaping the direction of the college and its fundraising efforts. 

“Creating transformative experiences is a key tenet of the 'Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence' fundraising campaign,” said Whiteman. “The philanthropy and service of our Finance Advisory Board members plays a crucial role in transforming our students’ experience through innovative programs and services.”

"A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence" is a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hard-working students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit

Last Updated May 14, 2019