A Mission To Enhance Yale’s Global Impact
Michael Skol ’63 is a man on a mission. Of course, he has been on many missions in his distinguished career of more than thirty years in the U.S. Foreign Service in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in Southeast Asia and Europe. He reflects, “I feel very fortunate to have been admitted to Yale in the first place, and have continually worked to preserve that relationship while overseas, through reunions, friendships, and, now, by becoming part of Yale’s future. Through our estate, my wife and I will establish the Michael Skol ’63 and Claudia Serwer Endowed Fund for International Relations. My mission is for my legacy to contribute to Yale’s international reach in the world.”
From his role as U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela to his most recent two decades in the private sector as a proponent of ethical international business practices, Mike has been committed to a vision of Yale as a fully global institution: “I majored in religion at Yale which, as it turned out, gave me an ideal basis for understanding the world. I strongly support efforts to globalize the university. Yale’s transition from a great national university to an outstanding global one is extremely important to me. I believe Yale’s presence abroad, and its commitment to liberal education in the western tradition, can make a genuine difference in today’s ideologically-burdened world.”
In addition to his tenure in Latin America, Mike had Foreign Service posts in Buenos Aires, Saigon, Santo Domingo, Naples, Rome, San Jose, and Bogotá. Throughout this time, he tried to maintain a Yale connection wherever possible. For example, Mike re-founded the Yale Club of Colombia in 1985. He says, “My wife, Claudia, who was also in the Foreign Service, and I have amassed a wealth of comparisons between diverse educational institutions and Yale. Yale wins every time. The more I have learned about education in the United States and around the globe, the more I value Yale and the more I want to see Yale expand to touch more people and nations.”
Mike and Claudia’s commitment will help strengthen Yale’s impact in the world. As Yale Legacy Partners, they are hopeful that their Yale legacy will prove to be as significant to international relations as their careers have been.