Yale partners with Banco Santander

Spanish bank Banco Santander entered a formal agreement with the University last week when it committed significant funding to the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization.

Ernesto Zedillo GRD ’81, director of the Center for the Study of Globalization Director and former Mexican President, said Banco Santander will give $250,000 a year to the organization for the next three years. The bank will provide the funds through Santander Universities Global Division, an organization through which Banco Santander creates partnerships with universities worldwide to support progress in education. The agreement is the next step in a partnership that has existed since January 2011, when Banco Santander first agreed to issue grants to the University.

“President Zedillo’s presence on this campus and the work of his Center has stimulated an important conversation about the benefits and costs of globalization,” President-elect Peter Salovey said in an email to the News. “I am delighted this gift will promote continued education and scholarship in this arena.”

Salovey signed the agreement at a formal ceremony on Feb. 6 attended by members of the Yale community and representatives from Santander Universities Global Division and Sovereign Bank, Banco Santander’s U.S. subsidiary.

Zedillo said the money from Banco Santander, totaling $750,000, will fund activities and conferences coordinated by the center such as a colloquium about the Latin American economy in April and a conference on the future of globalization in October. The funding will also support ongoing programs within the center — which focuses on promoting an understanding of globalization and facilitating correspondence between Yale faculty and policymakers — such as maintaining the distinguished visiting fellows program and hosting open lectures throughout the year, he said.

Faculty of the Center for the Study of Globalization created a proposal requesting funding from Banco Santander that they submitted to the Yale Office of Development, Zedillo said, adding that the the Santander Universities Global Division later approved the proposal.

Banco Santander has an established commitment to funding universities worldwide as well as specifically in the United States through its Universities USA foundation. Universities USA has formed agreements with 26 universities and colleges since its creation through Sovereign Bank in 2009, according to a Feb. 6 press release from the Yale Office of Public Affairs and Communications. The Office of Public Affairs and Communications declined to comment beyond its press release.

Salovey said that in the past, the bank has given financial support to the World Fellows Program, the restoration of “The Education of the Virgin” by Diego Velázquez in the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale College/Santander International Experience Program, which grants financial aid to students for study abroad expenses.

The agreement with Santander is not the first time the University has partnered with a corporate sponsor — University President Richard Levin said Yale has had many corporate sponsorships for its programs and has also received corporate donations to support activities on campus, such as an agreement with Gilead Sciences to support research at West Campus.

“It’s not at all unique to have corporate donations to academic opportunities,” he said. “It doesn’t really change the nature of the academic program.”

Levin also noted that the School of Management has had a long-term partnership with another bank, Goldman Sachs, through its 10,000 Women Project, which supports women’s empowerment in developing countries, and J.P. Morgan has supported exhibitions at the YUAG.

The University recently gained attention for allowing PepsiCo to sponsor an April conference for women hosted by YaleWomen, Yale World Fellows and the Yale Alumni Association.

The Yale Center for the Study of Globalization was established in 2001.

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