The Newsletter of UNH Global Engagement
Fall 2014

Profiles in International Giving

“We are all living in a smaller and smaller world, and what affects us is not just what is happening in our town, New England, or even our country. Our students need to go abroad, see the challenges the larger world is facing, and experience, even in small part, some of the solutions.”   Mel Rines ’47

Mel Rines '47
Mel Rines '47

Mel Rines, UNH alumnus and Navy fighter pilot in World War II and the Korean War, has had a distinguished career as a managing director and senior international investment banker at Kidder Peabody, advising and financing supranational institutions and sovereign governments. He helped the nascent African Development Bank get access to capital markets, raising upwards of $2 billion for its lending operations, and has had a keen interest in sustainable development all his life.

To that end, Rines began his service to the University by seeding and co-directing the International Private Enterprise Center at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics (now Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics) to foster private sector growth in the U.S. and developing countries. This, in turn, led to membership on the School's executive board and joining the UNH Foundation Board. He was elected chairman in 1999.

Rines’ most recent contribution to UNH, as Co-chair of the UNH Emeriti Council (a group of former members of the UNH Foundation Board seeking ways to continue being of service to the University), has been the establishment and funding of a grant program to assist student groups develop and effectuate international service projects. The UNH Emeriti Council Student International Service Initiative Fund supports opportunities for recognized UNH student organizations to bring their knowledge, enthusiasm and expertise to solve real world problems in developing areas of the world. The grants provide funding to augment students’ own fundraising activities. The amount of the awards typically range from $2,000 - $10,000. “I was fortunate to see a presentation by UNH Engineers Without Borders, and was impressed by the professionalism I saw in the students and the impact of their work in Peru,” according to Rines. “I thought to myself, ‘I want to help more groups do work like that.’”

David Ellis, Emeriti Council Co-chair, states: “Mel has challenged the board to build a fund to support several projects each year and be replenished by Council giving on a yearly basis.” Rines stresses the importance of personal engagement by the student groups, hoping that the fund will increase the number of faculty-led and official UNH student groups doing international service work. “We want to get students thinking early on about philanthropy, international engagement, and taking responsibility.” To that end, one of the requirements for the grant is that students engage in significant fundraising, to match the generous grant, so that there is ownership and understanding of the realities of real-world international development. “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students and faculty,” states Luchen Li, Associate Provost for International Programs, “to take their classroom learning and their enthusiasm out into the world and truly make a difference, both to the community abroad and to the participants’ own worldview.”

The Council reviews applications each October and March. The first grants were awarded this fall to winning applications from Students Without Borders, for service projects in Uganda and Peru. Refer to CIE's Scholarships and Fellowships page for information on this opportunity.

Making Study Abroad Within Reach for Every UNH Student

Bill and Martha Jackson
Bill and Martha Jackson

Martha Foley Jackson, ’76, ’96G, also a member of the Emeriti Council, has a long history, with her husband Bill Jackson ’75, of giving back to the University. She has served on many university-wide boards, including the UNH Foundation. In spring 2004, the Jacksons, established the Martha L. Foley and William S. Jackson Fund for International Studies to encourage New Hampshire students to participate in a study abroad experience through the University of New Hampshire.

Martha, who received her B.A. in French at UNH, spent her junior year in Dijon, France, and considers it one of the most meaningful experiences of her life. A graduate of the UNH's business school, Bill believes that, now more than ever to be competitive in today’s global environment, students must understand and experience other cultures: “All UNH undergraduates,” he says, “must learn to function effectively in a world in which international relationships and global forces will continuously impact their lives.” One of the most significant ways to achieve this goal is by studying abroad.

Through their study abroad scholarship, the Jacksons hope to encourage participation by students whose financial constraints might otherwise prohibit them from travelling abroad. Each year, the Jacksons give $5,000 in financial assistance to a UNH student who demonstrates high need and academic excellence. This is by far the largest study abroad scholarship UNH offers, and the Center for International Education (CIE) is proud to administer it, as it has for the past 10 years. “It is a privilege to work with Martha and Bill,” says Gregg Orifici, CIE Assistant Director. “Their passion for student international experience is palpable, in the way they work with us to review the applications each semester and are always excited to find the most ambitious and outstanding UNH students who clearly would not be able to take advantage of study abroad without major financial help. Truly, for exceptional UNH students, the Jacksons make international dreams come through.”

Below is a short video of Martha talking about her motivations for giving back to UNH: