$1.25 billion and counting

This past Friday the institution that offers, as President Don Randel often proclaims, tongue only partly in cheek, “the best education in this or any neighboring galaxy,” thanked some of its stellar supporters—with programs across the disciplines, dinner in Rockefeller Chapel, and a progress report on the $2 billion Chicago Initiative.

University Trustee Edgar D. Jannotta welcomed the guests with an up-to-the-minute fund-raising total. At the three-year mark, the campaign has reached $1,250,495,216.33. “The 33 cents is a joke,” the Initiative’s chair confessed, “but we are counting every penny.” Having already made its mark on the campus landscape, the campaign now must meet its human-capital goals, Jannotta said, announcing a new, $17 million Trustee Scholarship Challenge: a group of trustees will contribute $1 for every $2 in contributions to undergraduate scholarship endowment.

The 74-year-old Jannotta also announced that on July 1 he will step down as chair, to be succeeded by fellow trustee Andrew M. Alper, AB’80, MBA’81. Board of Trustees vice chair and cochair of the GSB campaign, Alper, noted Jannotta, “is the right man for the job.”

Then it was on to a celebration of human capital. Lectures, seminars, and tours gave everyone something to talk about during a pre-dinner reception in the GSB’s Rothman Winter Garden. At dinner in Rockefeller Chapel, 49 new members were inducted into the Harper Society Founders Circle, recognizing cumulative gifts of $1 million or more, and President Randel conferred the University of Chicago Medal on Gerald Ratner, AB’35, JD'37. In addition to his support for the 2003 Gerald Ratner Athletics Center, Ratner was honored for 70 years of advocacy for the College, the Law School, and campus athletics.


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Photos (from left to right): The pre-dinner reception in the GSB’s Rothman Winter Garden; Ratner accepting his award; Rockefeller in its evening best.

Photos by Dan Dry.

May 9, 2005