Shared Story Contributions

"When I worked for him, I learned the value of creating good, error-free, and detailed data sets, as opposed to just using what was lying around or had been put together by someone else. I believe this allowed me to make contributions in certain areas simply because others did not or would not take the time, which sometimes required months of tedious work to collect the data and, at the same time, to get to know the data. I can recall in some cases getting incredulous looks or comments from people who said something like, 'I can’t believe you actually spent six to nine months collecting all this data by hand.' Although I kept quiet, I felt like saying, 'It's a GSB thing. You won't get it.'"

- John J. Binder, PhD '83
Associate Professor, Finance, University of Chicago

"First day as a MBA student in Fama’s first-year PhD finance class, he told us that if anyone was planning on 'proving' that the CAPM was not accurate, to not waste his time. 'It's a simple model explaining a very complex process, I know it's not accurate. But here is your opportunity, come up with a model that works better. Then you will have my attention!' This simple statement has stuck with me throughout my financial management and operations management career."

- Greg Corkett, '84

"I entered U of C to earn my MBA in finance, and every time we’d meet to look at elective classes, Fama thought I should substitute statistics courses for the finance electives. I did this for two years. In the meantime, we did term papers and class projects using the CRSP files, and my wife got used to getting her Valentine's day and anniversary cards key punched out in FORTRAN. My class partner and I got used to duking it out with whomever those rare parking spots belonged to late at night down behind the campus physics building where the BIG computers called home where we sat hoping that our box and a half of cards would compile. When the time came to graduate, I discovered there was no MBA comprehensive exam in statistics. Professor Fama says, 'No problem, I’ll approve you taking half the PhD prelim instead.' What a snap. I graduated anyway. He probably would have some difficulty remembering me, but I’ll never forget Gene Fama, although when I knew him he had a lot more hair."

- John Swift, '66