Posted by: Phil Mintz on November 6, 2008
The University of Chicago’s business school — one of the top-ranked schools in the country — has received a large naming gift from alumnus David Booth and renamed itself the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. The gift, announced this evening at an event on the Chicago campus, is worth $300 million, according to the school — representing the largest gift ever to a business school by an individual.
Booth, who earned his MBA from Chicago in 1971. is founder of founder and of Dimensional Fund Advisors, an investment firm based in Santa Monica, Calif. In a statement issued by the school, Booth says he built his firm on the ideas he learned from Chicago prof Eugene Fama, (shown at left in photo, along with Booth) who devised the efficient market theory, which asserts that stocks are always correctly priced since everything that is publicly known about the stock is reflected in its market price.
The firm still has close links to Chicago’s business school.
The gift, from the Booth Family Trust, represents an economic interest in a portion of the trust’s shares in Dimensional Holdings, Inc., parent company of Dimensional Fund Advisors. The business school will receive an income stream from the shares and the value of the shares if they are sold. Booth had previously given $10 million to the school.
The previous record for a gift to a business school was the $105 million Stanford Graduate School of Business received in 2006 from Nike founder Philip Knight. In 2004, developer Stephen Ross gave a $100 million gift to the University of Michigan.
The renaming of Chicago’s business school leaves only four of the top 30 U.S. business schools unnamed for a donor: Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, and Yale.