USC Marshall Announces Launch of VanEck Digital Assets Initiative

Cynthia van Eck ’86, along with her husband Jan van Eck, donated to fund USC Marshall’s VanEck Digital Assets initiative, giving Marshall students an edge in the rapidly changing world of bitcoin, cryptocurrencies currencies and NFTs.

As blockchain technology and its business applications – from digital currencies and non-fungible tokens to smart contracts and decentralized finance – evolve at breathtaking vertical speed and scale, mastering these digital assets is an emerging priority for all. high-level business schools. growing interest from students and graduates.

To advance this priority, the USC Marshall School of Business today announced a $5 million gift from Van Eck Associates (VanEck) to launch the VanEck Digital Assets initiative, in a move that positions Marshall at the forefront of this exciting new field and deepens the school’s partnership with the forward-looking investment firm.

The initiative will support innovative new courses for undergraduate and graduate students, applied research and industry partnerships, university-industry events, and the administrative and academic leadership needed to deliver cutting-edge education. and thought leadership in rapidly evolving business applications. of the blockchain.

“I greatly value the education I received at Marshall and the leadership skills I was able to develop there. I hope both tech and non-tech students can benefit from this program. said Cynthia van Eck, an alumna of the Class of 1986 undergraduate and member of the Marshall Board of Councilors. “In my philanthropic work, I have taken a hands-on approach, giving both time and money, an approach I plan to model for our students at Marshall as they learn about these emerging topics and contribute to projects in space.”

VanEck has a history of personal and financial support for education at Marshall, including gifts to support the student investment fundannual research trips to New York, and one Global Scholars Program.

“VanEck is proud to support research and experiential learning at USC Marshall,” said Jan van Eck, CEO of VanEck and member of the Marshall Board of Councilors. “I have been impressed with USC’s spirit of innovation and respect the contributions of current and past leaders. Its commitment to academic excellence and free inquiry makes it a leading institution.

“This generous gift from Cynthia and Jan van Eck through VanEck Associates will keep our Marshall students at the forefront of the digital asset economy and other important changes in business – a critical priority as they face to a rapidly changing job market,” the USC president said. Carol L. Folt. “Marshall’s VanEck Digital Assets initiative specifically helps our students develop a solid foundation in rapidly emerging fields, such as blockchain and cryptocurrency, and helps them understand the transformative influence of other technological innovations on finance and trade. We are so grateful for the foresight behind this gift.

Marshall Dean Geoff Garrett sees the emerging field of digital assets as a major opportunity to strengthen Marshall’s leadership in developing business solutions for the real world.

“Nowhere is the breakneck pace of change and the technological nature of everything in business more evident than in the brave new world of digital assets,” Garrett said. “This generous gift gives Marshall the opportunity to help define the frontier of education, research and industry practice on the radical disruption of financial markets by digital currencies, NFTs, smart contracts and decentralized finance which is probably in its infancy today.”

A key part of this historic donation is the expansion of the 2021 success “Building the Future of Blockchain”event at which Jan van Eck spoke as part of his ongoing commitment to sharing his knowledge with Marshall students, including welcoming VanEck Scholars to New York each year. The event will expand into 2022 as the first annual VanEck Business of Blockchain conference.

The VanEck Digital Assets Initiative will further allow USC Marshall to:

  • Create cutting-edge courses on cryptocurrencies, NFTS, smart contract platforms, and other digital assets for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Bring together academic experts and industry leaders to explore, analyze and begin to define the theory and practice of digital asset markets and technologies.
  • Attracting and educating student entrepreneurs to take advantage of digital asset opportunities while appreciating market risks and regulatory controls affecting the sector.

The launch of the VanEck Digital Assets Initiative continues Marshall’s momentum of investing in the topics essential for the next 100 years of commerce and business education. In July 2021, the school announced the naming gift for the Randall R. Kendrick Global Supply Chain Institutefunded to connect the world through global supply chain management with networking, education, and advanced research.