UNL starts fundraising for international trade and finance institute

By Agri-Pulse staff

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LINCOLN, Neb., March 17, 2015 - To prepare skilled graduates for in-demand careers in global trade and finance, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has announced the start of a private fundraising initiative to establish an international trade and finance institute at the university.

Renowned trade expert and University of Nebraska alumnus Clayton Yeutter has made a $2.5 million leadership gift commitment toward the initiative through outright and planned gifts, which established the Clayton K. Yeutter International Trade Program Fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation.

Gifts and gift commitments of $400,000 have also been received from companies and other individuals in support of the institute.

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In recognition and honor of Yeutter's philanthropic support for the university and his career achievements, UNL will seek to create the Clayton K. Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance, upon approval by the University of Nebraska board of regents.

“We are incredibly grateful for Clayton Yeutter's leadership gift and for this investment in his alma mater,” said Ronnie Green, University of Nebraska vice president and Harlan Vice Chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Our vision is to prepare graduates who will have an unprecedented understanding of international trade and global finance, so that they are uniquely prepared to provide leadership in the global marketplace immediately upon receiving a University of Nebraska degree.”

The institute will build on strengths that are present across UNL to expand the international component of its teaching and research programs. The institute will be launched under the auspices of several endowed chairs, with one each residing in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, College of Business Administration and College of Law.

The endowed chairs will enable the university to hire additional, internationally-leading faculty members in the areas of international trade and finance with an annual stipend for salary, research and program support. The faculty chairs will be assigned to traditional departments within each college but will coordinate their activities in ways to support the objectives of the institute. One of the three chairs will lead the effort as director of the institute, with responsibility for ensuring a coordinated international focus on the teaching and research activities of all three colleges.

In partnership with the University of Nebraska Foundation, the university's initial fundraising objective for the institute will be to raise private funds to permanently endow three named chairs for the new institute. Those chair positions will provide a base for future expansion into other areas of the university.

“It is my hope that support for this institute at UNL will produce graduates with the skills needed in business, agriculture and law as we continue to expand export opportunities in the future,” Yeutter said. “There is more need today for prepared college graduates than ever before, as trade is a prime mover in the U.S. economy. It has accounted for a third of our economic growth in recent years, and our agricultural exports are at levels never deemed attainable two or three decades ago.”

To learn more about supporting this fundraising initiative and about gift naming opportunities, contact Josh Egley, senior director of development, at the University of Nebraska Foundation at 800-432-3216 or josh.egley@nufoundation.org.

About Clayton Yeutter: Yeutter, who lives in Potomac, Md., was born in 1930 in Eustis, Neb., and has served four U.S. presidents in a career spanning several decades. He earned all of his degrees at the University of Nebraska, beginning with a bachelor of science degree in 1952. After five years serving in the U.S. Air Force and expanding his farm operations, he completed a law degree and a doctorate in agricultural economics.

Yeutter's efforts, both in government and the private sector, have had a lasting impact on the worldwide economy. He served in three sub-cabinet posts and in three cabinet or cabinet-level posts: Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Trade Representative and Counselor to the President, the only Nebraskan ever to do so. He also spent several years as CEO of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Returning to the private sector in 1993, Yeutter joined what has become Hogan Lovells, LLP, now one of the largest law firms in the world, where his focus is on trade issues.

About the University of Nebraska Foundation: The University of Nebraska Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization raising private gifts to support the University of Nebraska for more than 79 years. Last year, donors provided the university with $258.1 million for scholarships, academic programs, medical and other research, faculty support and facilities. For more information, visit nufoundation.org.

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