Letters and News

Meet and Greet with New Dean Sunil Kumar

Image by Genevieve Shiffrar

Alumni Eager to Meet the Dean

Hundreds of Chicago Booth alumni gathered in four West Coast cities last fall for a chance to meet and speak with dean Sunil Kumar.

Alumni gathered at special receptions in Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle at private clubs and homes of such alumni as David and Janet Cooper, ’82. The events were organized by the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development in response to feedback from alumni, said Tracey Pavlishin, ’06, senior director, alumni affairs and events. “It was important to them to hear from Sunil about his plans for Chicago Booth,” she said.

Among alumni who appreciated the opportunity was Robert Lord, ’99. “The dean’s comments were refreshing and insightful,” he said. “His thoughtful answers to the questions posed by a number of constituents gave me confidence that the stewardship of Chicago Booth is in very capable hands.”

Audra Lalley, ’98, who heads the Booth Alumni Club of Los Angeles, echoed the thought. “He demonstrated an enthusiasm that is sure to serve Booth,” she said.—P.H.

University Opens Center in China

Nobel laureate Gary Becker, University Professor of Economics and of Sociology, and interim dean Harry Davis were among leaders from Chicago Booth who celebrated the official opening of the University of Chicago Center in Beijing in September.

The 23,000-square-foot center will offer such activities as conferences and seminars, nondegree educational programs, alumni events, study abroad opportunities, and facilities for faculty and graduate student research. The center will focus on core areas where university scholarship and the concerns of contemporary China most strongly intersect, including business, economics, and policy.

Among university graduates in China, the largest percentage are those who attended Chicago Booth, noted Davis. “It’s wonderful to be able to foster community among our Chinese alumni with this center,” he said. “It also helps the university broaden its reach by providing a place where many constituents can come together to work on some of the challenges the world is facing.”

Executive director Beth Bader, ’90, echoed the thought. “The new Beijing center embodies the core values of the University of Chicago, carrying them onto a new kind of platform for learning, teaching, and research,” she said. “China is a powerful draw for scholars and business leaders alike. It’s an exciting time to be here.”—P.H.

Entrepreneurs Are Key to Strengthening Black Economy

The key to success in life is refusing to take “no” for an answer, according to Chicago City Treasurer Stephanie Neely, ’89, who gave the keynote at the Black Business and Economic Forecast October 29 at Gleacher Center, an event sponsored by the Chicago Black Alumni Association.

Neely, who stressed the importance of building small business, saving, and investing in oneself, said she often hears from potential entrepreneurs who tell her how the bank turned them down. “We in

society have become addicted to immediate gratification. And we don’t understand that ‘no’ does not mean ‘no’ forever,” she said. “Our young entrepreneurs don’t have the patience or the vision to keep coming at it.”

Neely said her office supports small business. In Chicago more than 42,000 active business licenses—or 92 percent—go to small business owners, she said.

“I believe that small businesses are the backbone of our economy, both in the city and in our nation.”

Neely also has launched a citywide initiative called “Save It, Spend It, Grow It” to encourage Chicago families to become more financially savvy. One third of Chicagoans lack checking or savings accounts, she said. “My advice for this recent economic crisis was, and remains, invest in yourself,” Neely said. “Become the

wisest and most dedicated manager of your own finances as possible.”—M.S.P.

Read the full story about Neely’s remarks.

Last Updated 2/25/11