Center for International Education
Spring 2009


Craig Abbott emphasizes importance of international education to the future of UNH and its students

Craig Abbott is a 1970 graduate of the University of New Hampshire and a resident of Darien, Connecticut. Through his career in international finance, he came to recognize the importance of "cultivating both an international awareness and a hands-on learning experience as a vital component of an undergraduate college education." Toward that end he created, in 2001, the Endowment for International Studies. Thanks to his generosity, 20 students have received scholarships to study abroad and six have been awarded International Research Opportunities Program grants.

Abbott speaking to alumni in New York
Abbott speaking to alumni in New York
(Photo by Kyo Morishima)

When International Affairs (IA) alumni gathered in New York City in November, UNH Whittemore School of Business and Economics alumnus Craig Abbott joined them.

Although he graduated fifteen years before the International Affairs dual major came into existence, and he did not study abroad while at UNH, Abbott had a message to bring.

"Based on what I have seen over my career in finance technology and the time spent with global clients and colleagues," Abbott said, "I believe that an international experience, while at UNH, is essential to the education process for all students, no matter their major or future interests. Reaching out and taking the initiative to learn foreign languages, customs, cultures, new ideas, is the building block for a successful career no matter how you approach it."

"There is no better way to do that at UNH than the dual major in International Affairs,” Abbott continued. “I admire what you have accomplished."

Abbott shared with attendees the results of a recent IBM study which surveyed CEOs and business leaders around the world concerning the Enterprise of the Future. From his own experience, reinforced by this study, Abbott summarized, "I believe that the type of people every enterprise in the world is interested in attracting are those that are brave enough, smart enough, creative enough and collaborative enough to seek out an international experience. It is the future of major enterprises around the globe to attract and retain people just like you."

In closing, Abbott stated, "It is also essential to the future of the university to have a strong and prosperous international education capability, to ensure that programs are designed to give each and every UNH student an international experience before they graduate."