Year Inducted: 

William Seale

A three-time graduate of the University of Kentucky, with two degrees from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, William E. Seale worked in the education and financial sectors for nearly 40 years. The Fayette County native earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry then earned both his master’s degree in 1969 and doctorate in 1975 in agricultural economics.

He began his career teaching in the community college system before joining the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service as a county agent. After completing his doctorate, he joined the staff of Kentucky’s U.S. Sen. Walter Huddleston.

The next step on Seale’s career ladder was as government relations vice president for a New York futures exchange from 1979 to 1983. He was then appointed by President Ronald Reagan, and served for five years as commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

After serving with the commission, he joined the faculty at George Washington University.  He went on to serve as chair of the department of finance and as senior associate dean of the business school. During this time, he also developed a consulting firm, Financial Markets Group Inc. He frequently spoke before congressional committees and to the media.

After retiring from the university, Seale founded and helped launch the ProFunds Group. One of three partners of the Maryland-based mutual fund investment firm, he also served as the chief economist until 2008. He remains a principal in the firm.


Seale served on the board of directors of the National Futures Association. He was also a public director of the Kansas City Board of Trade, The New York Cotton Exchange, New York Board of Trade and the New York Futures Exchange. Other memberships include the Southern Agricultural Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, American Finance Association and Financial Management Association International.

He is a trustee with the Keepers Preservation Education Fund, and in 2006, founded the William E. Seale Family Foundation to support higher education. Seale is a generous UK supporter, particularly to the Gatton College of Business and Economics and the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.  He established the D. Milton Shuffett Agricultural Economics Endowment Fund, in honor of his mentor. The endowment funds undergraduate scholarships for Kentucky students.

Today, Seale spends much of his time between his homes in Annapolis, Maryland, and Florida.