Ronald Tarrson, '72 (XP-31)
University Stewards: Major commitments from Steve Tarrson (left) and Ron Tarrson, ’72, (XP-31), have supported the University of Chicago Medical Center and Chicago Booth.
Giving to Chicago Booth
“I always wanted to give back, but it’s more than that. I’ve taken a lot out,” said Ronald Tarrson, ’72 (XP-31). “The question I asked myself was: How can I give something back? Through education and research to help make it a better world.”
Tarrson helped his father and uncle turn the John O. Butler Company, a small toothbrush manufacturer in Chicago, into a leading supplier of toothbrushes to dentists. In the 1970s, a colleague recommended Chicago Booth’s Executive MBA Program to him. After an interview with beloved associate dean Bud Fackler, Tarrson enrolled.
“The university was so influential in helping us succeed. My dad and uncle had no mentors, so whatever they learned came from their experience, and they did pretty well. But we reached a point where we were going to get diminishing returns, and at the same time, I entered the Chicago Booth,” he said. “It was probably the most influential two years of my life.”
Tarrson had regularly made a donation to the Chicago Booth Fund, which gave the school flexibility to provide support wherever it was needed. This year, he gave an additional gift to fund a professorship. “I think the university offers some of the best and most efficient ways to nurture talent,” he said. “If formal educators can help propagate that and foster creative elements in people, it’s wonderful.
“And if we can help people who can lend their shoulders to other people, then we can say we’ve done our bit.
“I call it the gift of giving. I think that’s what makes people satisfied and happy.”