Business savvy, Duck pride, and a commitment to international education.
Lundquist College of Business Dean Kees de Kluyver and donor Greg Rasmussen ’67 share a passion for all three.
However, their strongest ties are rooted 5,000 miles away from Oregon—for opposite reasons.
As a UO student, Rasmussen spent a year in the Netherlands attending Nyenrode Business Universiteit. Four years later, as a Dutch student attending Nyenrode, de Kluyver came to Oregon with the same program.
Studying abroad transformed both of them. Thanks to Rasmussen’s recent $1.5 million gift for exchange programs, more UO business students will be studying at Nyenrode soon.
“That year in Europe was a great opportunity,” said Rasmussen. “It was the most memorable and educational aspect of my college experience. I’d like to help future students experience the same things in today’s world.”
Rasmussen began his career at twelve, washing cars for his father’s business. Founded in 1950 as a Studebaker dealership, the Don Rasmussen Company grew to include Mercedes Benz, BMW, Mini, and Land Rover. Though he recently sold his other holdings, Greg still owns the Portland Land Rover dealership.
He traveled to the Netherlands in 1965, the exchange program’s first year. Though the program stopped during the 1970s, the business school is today reviving its connections to Nyenrode.
“The University of Oregon is an outstanding educational institution,” he said. “I had always been interested in doing something to get the program at Nyenrode reestablished. Kees had such enthusiasm for getting it going again, plus expanding opportunities for students in China, Japan, South America, and all over the world.”
For the Lundquist College of Business, internationalization is a top priority.
“Global issues run business,” said de Kluyver. “So we want our business students to have great global awareness. Today it’s simply a must.”
A study tour abroad is a key component of the MBA curriculum, and de Kluyver hopes that someday every business student will have an international experience.
“Greg Rasmussen’s gift, along with his leadership and support, will help us achieve this goal,” he said. “We’re very grateful he’s an alumnus—and a friend—of the Lundquist College of Business.”
By Ed Dorsch ’94, MA ’99
Learn more about Greg in TIME Magazine’s announcement of his nomination for its 2010 Dealer of the Year award.