Yale University and Banco Santander Announce Partnership

Yale University and Banco Santander signed a formal agreement January 14 that will provide financial support for three major educational priorities at Yale. The signing ceremony on the Yale Campus brought together Yale administrators, faculty, and students with executives of Spain’s Banco Santander, its U.S. subsidiary Sovereign Bank, and its philanthropic organization Santander Universities Global Division.

In announcing the agreement, President Richard C. Levin stated, “We are deeply grateful to Banco Santander and its Santander Universities Global Division for providing significant support for Yale in its global outreach efforts. We welcome this new partnership as we expand the international experiences of our students and faculty for many years to come.”

Banco Santander Chairman Emilio Botín said, “At Banco Santander, we firmly believe that the best investment that can be made is in higher education. Creating opportunities for more students to experience and contribute to the global community aligns with the mission of Santander Universities and Yale’s commitment to fostering academic excellence.”

The Yale College/Santander International Experience Program will add to the international dimension of undergraduate study at Yale, with term-time financial aid for students of Arabic and European languages and grants supporting summer research and internships abroad, particularly in Europe. In the past five years, Yale has increased the number of overseas study, research, and work opportunities for undergraduates from 550 to more than 1,200 annually. The additional support from the bank will help to ensure that every Yale student can have a meaningful experience abroad. Yale is the only undergraduate institution in the U.S. to guarantee support for a summer international study, research, or internship experience to all students receiving need-based financial aid.

Further benefitting from the Yale-Santander partnership is the World Fellows Program, which each year brings together promising mid-career professionals from around the world for a semester of study at Yale. Since 2001, the program has created a global network of over one hundred emerging leaders. Banco Santander will help support programmatic priorities, including conferences, bi-weekly global issues seminars, global leadership and management seminars, meetings with distinguished guest speakers, travel to New York and Washington, D.C., to meet with key U.S. and international leaders, as well as engagement in individualized study and a plethora of campus activities.

Banco Santander will also provide generous support for the arts at Yale, enabling the Yale University Art Gallery to undertake the study, conservation, and exhibition of a recently attributed early masterpiece by Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez. Previously, the Education of the Virgin (ca. 1617–1618) was thought to be the work of an unknown artist in Seville, but in summer 2010, John Marciari—formerly the Nina and Lee Griggs Associate Curator— published a paper identifying it as the earliest known religious painting by Velazquez. After the restoration of the painting is complete, the Santander grant will fund its exhibition.

Headquartered in Spain, Banco Santander is represented in the U.S. by its subsidiary Sovereign Bank. Founded in 1857 and now serving over 92 million customers, Banco Santander is well known for its higher education philanthropy; its Santander Universities Global Division supports more than 900 international universities.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345