Benjamin Franklin gets a Face Lift

By: Annie Burnham

Despite the partial shutdown of the federal government, the Federal Reserve still released its new $100 bills Tuesday, Oct. 8. Armored trucks delivered the bills to banks, and customers began seeing the bills by that afternoon. The Federal Reserve printed 3.5 billion new notes.

According to the Federal Reserve, these bills have been 10 years in the making. The complexity of the bills has created many setbacks, which is why it has taken so long to produce them. In 2010, a billion of the first printed bills had unwanted creases. Later, in preparation for releasing the bills in 2011, they had to halt the release due to smearing ink on the bills. They are now confident the problems have been solved.


1996 $100 bill redesign
Wiki Commons

This is the first redesign of the $100 bill since March 1996. According to, in 1996, the bills new features included “an oversized, off-center portrait of Benjamin Franklin, a ghostly watermark of that same portrait, hard-to-duplicate fine-line printing in the background, and optically variable ink in the bottom-right corner that shifted color from green to black.”


2013 Redesign of $100 bill
Wiki Commons

This is the final part of a large plan, called “The New Color of Money”, by the Federal Reserve to redesign all the bills in order to better protect from counterfeiters. The first bill redesigned was the $20 in 2003. Benjamin Franklin will still be the face of $100, Independence Hall will still be on the back of the bill, and there’s a new feature that makes the Liberty Bell disappear when tilted. There is also a bright blue security ribbon interwoven with the paper of the bill.

“The 3-D security ribbon is magic. It is made up of hundreds of thousands of micro-lenses in each note,” said Larry Felix, the director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, in an article on CBS news. “This is the most complex note the United States has ever produced.”

The complexity of the security ribbon has been added in an effort to prevent counterfeit production of the bill. The $100 bill is currently the most counterfeited bill outside of the U.S. due to the bill’s large circulation overseas. North Korea has the highest number of counterfeiting cases due to the highly impoverished population. Because of the large number of sanctions on North Korea, there is a high demand for solid currency.

“North Korean forging prowess is so advanced that U.S. law enforcement officials have dubbed the fake, “nearly perfect” $100 bills “supernotes.” According to a 2009 Congressional Research Service report, at least $45 million in supernotes of North Korean origin have been detected in circulation, and Pyongyang may earn between $15 million and $25 million a year from counterfeiting,” said one article in the Christian Science Monitor. “According to the Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo, one North Korean embassy in Eastern Europe generated US$30 million by exchanging counterfeit notes a year.”

In light of the new security features, the new bills will still retain the signature of former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Once the current supply has been put into circulation, current Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew’s signature will appear on the bills.

Sonja Danburg, program manager for U.S. currency education at the Federal Reserve said that half to two-thirds of the existing $100 bills are in circulation outside the U.S. One U.S. News article said that “Federal Reserve economist Ruth Judson estimated that up to 70.7 percent of all $100 bills are abroad.”

There are currently $900 billion worth of $100 bills in circulation that will slowly be phased out over the next couple years as they grow worn and torn. To learn more about the new features of the bill and hear a message from the Federal Reserve about the bill’s new design, visit Colorado should expect to see the bills by the end of this week – keep an eye out for them and post your pictures below!


Win a CSU Hoodie When You Take Spring Break Photos with Flat Cam

Are you heading somewhere exotic for Spring Break? Or are you driving to the mountains for a week of snow sports? Maybe you’re just kicking it in Fort Collins and catching up on sleep. Whatever your plans for next week, make sure to bring Flat Cam along – and you could win a free CSU hoodie.

All you have to do is download Flat Cam here and cut him out, take a picture with Cam enjoying your Spring Break festivities, and submit your photo to A winner will be selected and notified by Friday, March 29.

All CSU students and alumni are invited to participate. Have a wonderful Spring Break, and be sure to share your adventures with the College of Business!

4 Reasons Business Students Should Study Abroad

by Tim Pate

Former finance student, Jason Sandry (’12), smiles at the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

Colorado State University and the College of Business are dedicated to providing students with a first-class, well-rounded education. One of the ways CSU ensures the best education possible is through a rich study-abroad program. The College of Business supports the University’s efforts to encourage students to study abroad, so we have crafted a list of the top four reasons you should look into a school away from school.

Push your boundaries.

Studying abroad requires a level of stepping out of your comfort zone. Living in a new place, speaking a different language, learning new local customs, or even eating strange food can be a challenge. These experiences challenge students to adapt to these unfamiliar environments, and new skills are born. College is a time for adventure, and the world is full of them.

Broaden your perspective.

Study abroad students enjoy a camel train in Merzouga, Morocco.

Understanding business principles and customs in the United States is important to a successful career, but we cannot ignore the fact that the world is becoming more and more connected. Studying abroad gives students the chance to experience and become familiar with different economic and political systems than that of the United States. Learning about how other economies operate and the role they play in the U.S. economy is highly valuable knowledge to possess.

Get scholarships.

The College of Business greatly encourages students to study abroad – so much so that it has provided scholarships specifically for business students interested in exploring and learning in a new place. One such scholarship is the College of Business Study Abroad Scholarship, which offers up to $2,000 for summer, $3,000 for a semester and $5,000 for a year-long study abroad experience. The Chris Collins Memorial scholarship is also available to juniors and seniors in the College of Business, and is worth up to $3,000. The Office of International Programs also offers the Fulbright program to undergraduate and graduate students. CSU wants to help you reach your dream location.

Impress recruiters.

In addition to your accomplishments in school, recruiters want to see indications that you have practical knowledge and experience outside the classroom. Studying abroad shows independence, motivation, and ambition – all traits highly sought after in new employees. Having study abroad experience on your resume indicates to your potential employer that you are capable of navigating new situations and that you have experience you can’t find in textbooks. If you want to get hired, studying abroad is a great way to show employers that you can handle the job.

College of Business students and alumni: Have you studied abroad? If so, leave a comment and tell us when and where you visited and what you studied. What did you gain from the experience? What would you recommend to students embarking on their first study abroad journey?