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Santander Contributes $1 Million To President Obama's 100,000 Strong In The Americas Initiative

Commitment to Partners of the Americas Foundation will support educational exchange program for students in the U.S. and Latin America

BOSTON, Jan. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Executives from Santander Bank, N.A., one of the top 25 retail banks in the United States by deposits, joined Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. today to launch President Obama's 100,000 Strong in the Americas educational exchange program.

Santander Universities, a division of Santander Bank, signed a $1 million agreement to support the program with Partners of the Americas Foundation, one of the organizations selected by the Department of State to implement President Obama's initiative. Partners of the Americas is a prominent voluntary and development organization with nearly 50 years of experience in the Americas.

The 100,000 Strong program is designed to increase the number of U.S. students studying in Latin America and the number of Latin American and Caribbean students studying in the United States each year to 100,000 by 2020. The goal of the educational exchange program is to foster international cooperation and mutual understanding as well as to better prepare students for their roles as future leaders in the global workforce.

"We are proud to collaborate with Partners of the Americas Foundation to support 100,000 Strong in the Americas because it gives students the opportunity to expand their education beyond the classroom, giving them hands-on experience learning about other countries and cultures," said Roman Blanco, president and CEO of Santander US. "As a local bank that has a global presence and a clear commitment to higher education, we know firsthand how important it is to understand the nuances of conducting business abroad. We applaud this program's contribution to preparing today's students to become tomorrow's global leaders."

Funding provided in the agreement for 2014 will support a grant competition open to higher educational institutions that promotes study abroad or exchange programs in any field. Partners of the Americas Foundation will manage the competition. Promising innovations from the competition will be highlighted at Partners of the America's 50th anniversary convention in Brazil in September.

"Santander's support of President Obama's 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund shows its continued visionary leadership in higher education internationally," said Steve Vetter, president, Partners of the Americas. "Santander's support of an open, competitive grant program to reward innovative solutions to increasing study abroad in our hemisphere is a reminder of the power of public-private partnerships.  We are honored to be able to collaborate with Santander in this important initiative."

About Us
Santander Universities is the channel through which the Santander Group supports higher education areas such as teaching and research, international cooperation, knowledge and technology transfer, entrepreneurial initiatives, student exchange and innovation. Last year, the program supported more than 4,105 new projects and 37,712 scholarships globally. In 2013, Santander Universities funded over 1,000 scholarships in the United States. For more information about Santander Universities Global Division, visit www.santander.com/universities.

Santander Bank, N.A. is a top 25 retail bank in the United States by deposits, with a presence in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Santander's 9,571 employees serve the financial goals of American consumers and businesses through its 706 branches and 2,084 ATMs. Headquartered in Boston, Santander is supervised by the Office of the Currency of the Comptroller and is FDIC insured under its legal name, Santander Bank, N.A. Santander in the United States is a wholly-owned, financially autonomous subsidiary of the Santander Group, a global commercial and retail bank. For more information about Santander in the United States, visit www.santanderbank.com or call 877-768-2265.

Partners of the Americas builds partnerships that create opportunity, foster understanding, and solve real-life problems.  The Partners Network is comprised of volunteers and development professionals who are committed to serving others.  Its partnerships are built around the core structure of chapters in countries and states that form north/south partnerships.  In addition, it forms inter-institutional partnerships between northern and southern universities, development agencies and civic organizations.  Inspired by President Kennedy and founded in 1964 under the Alliance for Progress, Partners is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, DC. 

SOURCE Santander Bank, N.A.

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