ST. CLOUD -- The ribbon was cut Monday at a first-in-the-state professional selling institute at St. Cloud State University.

The Per Rassmussen and Nina Skage Professional Selling institute at the Herberger School of Business will provide for the teaching of advanced sales techniques. Denny Bristow, chairman of the marketing department at SCSU, explains students will get first-class instruction in an often overlooked area of business.

Professional Selling is like the redheaded stepchild of academia. It's tough to get professional selling respect in schools of business around the nation. People don't think it has a place. Your gift and your belief in our vision of this program, it's going to put us on the map even further than we are.

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Robbyn Wacker, President of SCSU, says the institute keeps the university on the cutting-edge of business training.

As the first of its kind in Minnesota, the professional selling institute will support our goal of advancing St. Cloud State University's academic distinction and excellence. It will support the additional partnerships with community and business leaders. It will support our focus on faculty as teachers and scholars and will allow our amazing group of faculty the ability to incorporate new pedagogical strategies, providing a unique hands-on experiential learning environment for our students. That will indeed prepare them to be lifelong learners and successful professionals in this highly competitive field.

The institute was made possible with a grant from Per and Nina Rassmussen, students from Norway and 1986 graduates of SCSU. Per is the CEO of Bergen, Norway-based Stromberg Gruppen, a company specializing in trucking, commercial property, and commodities.

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