William H. Crook Program in International Affairs
The William H. Crook Program in International Affairs was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on October 7, 2011, to benefit The University of Texas Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. The endowment honors the Honorable William Herbert Crook, Sr. Gift funds were provided by Mrs. Eleanor Butt Crook.
Mrs. Crook gave the gift in honor of her late husband. William H. Crook, a prominent public figure in Texas, served as United States Ambassador to Australia and was a pioneer in global development. At the request of President Lyndon B. Johnson, Mr. Crook established the Office of Economic Opportunity in Austin in 1965 and later became the national director of Volunteers in Service to America, now known as AmeriCorps. He was active in poverty relief efforts throughout his life, establishing two orphanages in Ethiopia in the late 1980s.
Funds from the William H. Crook Program endowment will be used to seek to bridge the gap that exists between the academic and policymaking worlds in foreign affairs, ranging from terrorism to poverty to climate change to infectious diseases. Its goal is to strengthen and expand the University’s ability to contribute to national debate on foreign policy by sponsoring innovative research with the aim of generating policy recommendations the public can embrace and policymakers can enact; engaging government, business and NGOs in on-going conversations with the University of Texas community; convening meetings, conferences, lectures and other special events; and developing imaginative undergraduate and graduate curricular programs.
The Crook Program will also award fellowships to talented, motivated students working with innovative nonprofit organizations to make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged throughout the world. After experiencing life in the developing world, students receiving Crook Fellowships return with new insights, sharing their thoughts about the effectiveness of various types of aid and motivating fellow students interested in working in the field.