Thirty years. That’s how long Professor Robert W. Fogel, the Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Professor of American Institutions, and his late wife, Enid M. Fogel, Chicago Booth associate dean of students from 1981 – 1988, has shown support for our minority students as mentors and role models. Dr. and Mrs. Fogel began a tradition to recognize and bring together all minority students at Chicago Booth by hosting a dinner in the autumn quarter each year. They enjoyed meeting the students and showing them the type of support they would find in the Chicago Booth community. Professor Fogel continues to host his annual event providing a warm and welcoming spirit giving the students a chance to meet a Nobel Prize winner and view his award in their lovely home in the Hyde Park community. Professor Fogel won his award in 1993 in economics and joined the ranks of other notable professors at Chicago Booth who hold this prestigious achievement.
I look forward to this event each year and this year’s event was just as rewarding for me. It begins with supportive words from Dr. Fogel and the dean of the business school. This is followed by a traditional dinner bell that rings to announce “dinner is served”, something that Mrs. Fogel insisted upon before the evening of conversation and laughter begins and is still honored at each event!
The festivities take place in their home and a tent covers the backyard and provides a quiet setting to mingle both indoors and out during a cool autumn evening. Each year the home is decorated with candles and flowers that provide a quiet elegance that everyone appreciates. The Fogels take every precaution to make sure that the evening is one the guests will remember.
Along with the first- and second-year students, guests often include recruiters from some of the top companies and other Chicago Booth faculty. It’s a very casual atmosphere where networking and discussions about student life flow freely. This event is one of the highlights of the season for our minority students. Having the chance to speak to Dr. Fogel and learn more about his life, the relationship he’s had with Chicago Booth and any words of wisdom he can bestow on them goes a long way and makes a lasting impression on your life as a student in our MBA program.