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  News Release
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CME Group Foundation Launched with more than $600,000 in Grants

Chicago, December 20, 2008 – The trustees of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Trust (CME Trust) today announced the creation of CME Group Foundation, a new private foundation awarding $620,000 in grants, primarily for K-12 and higher education.

"CME Group Foundation will build on the work of CME Trust by further refining its focus on higher education in financial markets, K-12 education, primarily in economics and technology, and early childhood education and development," said Leo Melamed, Chairman of CME Group Foundation and Chairman Emeritus of CME Group. "The Foundation feels it is especially important to support organizations that educate Chicagoans about the economic and technological challenges facing our city and country, and help us compete more effectively in the global marketplace. This year’s grant recipients have already made great contributions in these areas, and we are looking forward to helping them accomplish even more," he added.

2008 grants include:
  • A grant of $100,000 was awarded to the Children First Fund, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Foundation, in support of the district’s Social Science Blueprint Project. CPS will bring coherence to the social science curriculum (civics, economics, geography, and history), consistent with previous district-wide efforts to provide curriculum guidance and leadership in language arts and math/science by developing a district-wide curriculum and structure for social science through a six-month planning process and a phased-in, three-year implementation process.
  • MOUSE, Inc. received $150,000 over two years in support of the expansion of TechCrew in the Chicago Public Schools MOUSE’s signature program, MOUSE Squad is a student-driven technical support help desk program that addresses the technology needs of public schools. With CME Group Foundation support, MOUSE will work with CPS to expand the program to 30 additional schools over two years and to develop additional curricular materials, products and resources.
  • A grant of $250,000 was awarded to University of Illinois at Chicago College of Business Administration in support of its International Center for Futures and Derivatives, established two years ago with a CME Trust grant. Funded activities leverage the university’s existing relationships in China and include an annual international conference, seminars and workshops that foster collaboration between academic and financial professionals, research on futures and options and new class offerings.
  • Window to the World Communications, Inc. received $120,000 in support of economics education segments on Chicago Tonight. WTTW will produce eighteen special The Economy and You (working title) segments, educating viewers about the economy and financial markets. Segments will provide thoughtful, significant analysis of critical topics and resource the universities supported by CME Trust/CME Group Foundation.
In addition to its grantmaking, CME Group Foundation will engage in leadership activities in its program areas including:
  • A January 14 breakfast meeting, co-convened by the Donors Forum Education Funder Group and the Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST) on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Education in the Chicago Public Schools; and
  • A February 3 breakfast for business and civic leaders on the economic benefits of early childhood education featuring U of C Nobel Laureate James Heckman. This event is co-sponsored by the Ounce of Prevention Fund.

CME Group Foundation was created and endowed with a gift of $16 million from CME Trust. CME Trust, with assets of approximately $50 million, was established by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) in 1969, under the direction of its then chairman, Leo Melamed, to provide financial protection to customers in the event a CME member firm became insolvent or unable to meet its obligations to its customers. Because there never was a need for the endowment to be used for its intended purpose, CME Trust received court approval to distribute its net income to public charities in 2005. In addition to the Foundation’s annual grant payout, .CME Trust expects to make a contribution annually to CME Group Foundation for its grantmaking.

CME Group Foundation’s mission is to enhance economic opportunity by supporting academic initiatives and activities, primarily in the Chicago region, that:
  • promote research, teaching and learning in financial markets, futures and derivatives;
  • promote the education of disadvantaged children and youth; and
  • promote the health and education of young children.

The officers and directors of the new foundation are Chairman Leo Melamed, Vice-chairman Charles P. Carey, Vice-chairman Craig S. Donohue, Vice-chairman Terrence A. Duffy, Vice-chairman John F. Sandner, Treasurer James P. Oliff, and Secretary Howard J. Siegel. Kassie Davis serves as Executive Director.