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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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United Prairie Bank Commits $250,000 to University

Gift is for Integrated Business Experience, College of Business Global Solutions Center.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 9-30-2013

Mankato, Minn. – United Prairie Bank in Mankato, Minn., recently announced that it has committed $250,000 to Minnesota State University, Mankato, with $150,000 designated for the University’s future College of Business Global Solutions Center and $100,000 allocated over four years to the College of Business’s Integrated Business Experience (IBE) course.

The Global Solutions Center building will be one of the premier facilities in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system and will transform students’ educational experiences and opportunities, said College of Business Dean Brenda Flannery.

With state-of-the-art technology and collaborative spaces, the building “will be a hub that connects students, faculty and industry all in one place to bring real-world learning to transform future business leaders,” said Flannery.

Flannery said United Prairie Bank’s commitment is an example of the pride that local and regional business have in the University and its College of Business.

“This gift contributes to our future Global Solutions Center and immediately helps IBE become a signature program for the College of Business,” said Flannery. “It helps us create a real-world partnership that is great for students, the bank, the community and the University.”

Scott D. Bradley, the chief executive offer of United Prairie Bank, agreed.

“The real-world experience that this program provides to students is so valuable in helping develop strong businesspeople for the future,” said Bradley. “We find this a great opportunity to recruit some talented individuals who would like to build careers in southern Minnesota.”

The portion of the gift allocated to the Integrated Business Experience program includes a student scholarship, a paid summer internship and support for the faculty member leading the program. Kathy Dale, associate professor of management, was appointed faculty chair of the Integrated Business Experience program beginning with the current fall semester.

Minnesota State Mankato’s Integrated Business Experience gives students real-world experiences in running a business. That experience encompasses developing the organization, raising financing, and delivering a product or service. Students in the IBE program will develop the skills necessary to start and manage a successful business. All profits of their efforts, combined with volunteer work, will be donated to a local charity. The IBE program has received awards such as the 2012 MnSCU Excellence in Curriculum Programming Award.

Students who participate in the IBE receive credit for four required core courses and a three-credit practicum.

The Integrated Business Experience program, which will be known as the United Prairie Bank Integrated Business Program, is the first named program in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, said Flannery.

For more information on the Minnesota State Mankato College of Business Global Solutions Center and Integrated Business Experience program, please contact Elizabeth Johnson, interim director of communication & events for the College of Business. Johnson can be reached by phone at 507-389-5424 or by email at

United Prairie Bank has locations in 11 southern Minnesota communities and is headquartered in Mankato, Minn. Minnesota State Mankato alumnus James G. Sneer founded United Prairie Bank in 1973.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,413 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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