University honors the life of distinguished alumnus Clayton Yeutter, '63

University honors the life of distinguished alumnus Clayton Yeutter, '63

09 Mar 2017    

Clayton Yeutter

University of Nebraska alumnus Clayton Yeutter died at his home in Potomac, Maryland, on March 4, 2017, after a 4-year battle with metastatic colon cancer.

He was born on Dec. 10, 1930, in Eustis, Nebraska, and went on to serve four U.S. presidents in a career spanning several decades. He earned all of his degrees at the University of Nebraska, including a Juris Doctor degree in 1963. After five years serving in the U.S. Air Force and expanding his farm operations, he completed a law degree and a doctorate in agricultural economics.

In 2015, Clayton announced a $2.5 million leadership gift commitment to help the university establish an international trade and finance institute. His goal was to enable the university to prepare skilled graduates for in-demand careers in global trade and finance. Gifts have also been received from companies and other individuals in support of the institute.

In Clayton’s honor, it has been named the Clayton K. Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance.

Clayton’s efforts, both in government and the private sector, have had a lasting impact on the worldwide economy. He served in three sub-cabinet posts and in three cabinet or cabinet-level posts: Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Trade Representative and Counselor to the President, the only Nebraskan ever to do so. 

He also spent several years as CEO of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Returning to the private sector in 1993, Clayton joined what became Hogan Lovells, LLP, one of the largest law firms in the world, where he focused on trade issues.

The Yeutter family encourages memorial be directed to the Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance Fund with a gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation. Gifts may be online, and checks made payable to the University of Nebraska Foundation may be sent to University of Nebraska Foundation, 1010 Lincoln Mall Ste 300, Lincoln, NE 68508-2886. Include fund 01126990 on the check memo line.

For more information or assistance, contact Josh Egley, senior director of development, at the University of Nebraska Foundation at 800-432-3216 or

Clayton Yeutter’s obituary is provided by the Omaha World-Herald.

Written by: University of Nebraska Foundation