Gifts establish endowed chairs for Yeutter Institute

Gifts establish endowed chairs for Yeutter Institute

A statue on campus honors former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Clayton Yeutter. The university has announced three endowed chairs as the foundation of the Clayton K. Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance.
File Photo
A statue on campus honors former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Clayton Yeutter. The university has announced three endowed chairs as the foundation of the Clayton K. Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has announced the three endowed chairs it will establish as the foundation of the Clayton K. Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance. The institute was launched in 2015 to prepare students to work at a time when national economies are increasingly connected.

“The institute will offer our graduates unparalleled distinction in the field and uniquely prepare them to become leaders in the global marketplace immediately upon graduation,” Chancellor Ronnie Green said. “We are immensely honored to establish these endowed chairs, which will allow us to attract leading scholars in global trade and finance.”

The Duane Acklie Chair will be established in the College of Business Administration; the Michael Yanney Chair will be established in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources; and the Clayton Yeutter Chair will be established in the College of Law.

The chairs will enable the university to hire additional, internationally distinguished faculty with an annual stipend for salary, research and program support. The faculty chairs, one of whom will direct the Yeutter Institute, will be assigned to departments within each college and will coordinate to support the institute’s objectives.

The university and the University of Nebraska Foundation have been conducting private fundraising for the planned institute, which is pending Board of Regents approval. The governor and Nebraska Legislature provided a one-time investment of $2.5 million in the 2015-17 biennium for endowed chairs at the institute. Including all support and pledged gifts, funding for the institute stands at $8 million.

In April, the university announced the establishment of a biennial symposium for the institute, made possible through a gift from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group Foundation. The grant establishes an endowed fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation that will provide permanent support for a symposium focusing on international trade policy, finance and risk management. The inaugural CME Group Foundation Symposium will take place in Lincoln in 2018.

Yeutter, a Nebraska alumnus and renowned trade expert, made a planned $2.5-million leadership gift commitment in 2015. In naming the institute, the university honors Yeutter’s philanthropic support as well as his achievements. Born in 1930 in Eustis, Yeutter has served four U.S. presidents in a career spanning several decades. Yeutter earned all of his degrees at Nebraska, beginning with a bachelor of science in 1952. After serving in the U.S. Air Force and expanding his farm operations, he earned a law degree and a doctorate in agricultural economics.

Yeutter’s work in government and the private sector have had a lasting impact on the world economy. He served in three sub-cabinet posts and three cabinet or cabinet-level posts – secretary of agriculture, U.S. trade representative and counselor to the president. He also was CEO of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for several years. In 1993, Yeutter joined what has become Hogan Lovells LLP, now one of the world’s largest law firms.

“Clayton Yeutter is a tremendous success story, going from small-town Nebraska to ultimately earn a Nebraska law degree and advise presidents. He inspires excellence,” said Richard Moberly, interim law dean. “The endowed chair that bears his name will ensure that we are able to continue striving for this type of excellence in areas of international trade and finance, which are so important to the future of this state and region.”

Acklie, founder of Crete Carrier Corp., earned his bachelor’s and law degree from the university and practiced law in Lincoln for 12 years. He then started a career in truck transportation, banking, real estate and related businesses. He also led the Lincoln and Nebraska chambers of commerce, American Trucking Association and other organizations.

“Duane Acklie is an influential business leader in our state and the nation. The endowment in his name will enable CBA to enhance and expand its already existing strengths in critically important areas that matter to the next generation of business leaders,” said Donde Plowman, dean of CBA. “The college is proud to be a key component of the Yeutter Institute.”

Yanney and his wife, Gail, have for years been deeply committed to the betterment of their state and university. Yanney, a graduate of what is now the University of Nebraska at Kearney, is an investment banker who founded what is now Burlington Capital Group LLC, where he is chairman emeritus.

“The Yeutter Institute will prepare our graduates to make significant contributions to an important part of Nebraska’s economy and its research will provide important information to help farmers, ranchers and companies expand their participation in the global economy,” said Ron Yoder, interim IANR vice chancellor. “We are pleased to create the Michael Yanney Chair in IANR.”

In addition to the endowed chairs, a gift from Veronica A. Haggart and Charles R. Work has established a College of Law professorship in the Stevensville, Maryland, couple’s name. Matthew Schaefer is the initial Veronica A. Haggart and Charles R. Work Professor of International Trade Law.

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