Published: October 24, 2008

Bread and Butter

Ted Snyder

Image by Dan Dry

I want to thank the GSB community for supporting the school in two bread and butter ways. One, we just finished our part of the Chicago Initiative, and the impact of the campaign on the GSB's resources is profound. Two, while the job market is far from great, our graduates are doing extremely well due in no small part to an ever-strengthening GSB network. In this letter I'll focus on the former, but I do want to say that this year we must stay focused on job opportunities for our students and alumni.

With a great sense of accomplishment, we ended the GSB Campaign on June 30. The nine-year effort yielded $355 million in contributions from 19,000 donors. We ended the campaign on a high note: Our fundraising progress in the 2007-08 fiscal year totaled $57 million with an amazing 22 extremely generous gifts in excess of $1 million. The breadth of support also was reflected in our annual fund: The GSB rallied to a total of $6.2 million, our highest amount ever, in a year when most schools and universities experienced decreases.

Here are some indications of the impact of the campaign: 

  • Nine years ago, the GSB had 39 endowed professorships. At the campaign's end, we project a total of 63 — a combination of 46 that are fully funded and 17 others in process.
  • In the last seven budget cycles, we have increased MBA scholarships by 17.4 percent annually.
  • We have established the Becker Center, launched the Initiative on Global Markets, and strengthened substantially the programs of the Kilts Center, the Polsky Center, and the Center for Decision Research.
  • With two new addresses (the Charles M. Harper Center in Hyde Park and our London Campus at Woolgate Exchange) we have the best business school facilities in the world.
  • Our endowment had been tenth among the world's business schools; it is now seventh. 

We know the effects on our people and programs. We can confidently pursue the faculty talent we want and support them well. (For me, that means getting out of their way so they can meet the greatest of expectations without bureaucratic interference.) We have further strengthened our applicant pools globally. GMAT scores in our Full-Time, Evening, and Weekend Programs have climbed by 20 to 30 points. While women comprised 20 percent of the Full-Time Class of 2001, for the Class of 2010 that has just entered, this figure is 35 percent. In Europe, our Executive MBA students represent 44 nationalities.

Simply put, we are now much better positioned, thanks to all those who made this campaign a success, to continue to focus on our overall objective-to be the best business school in the world and recognized as such. To achieve that objective, I believe that our core strategy should remain focusing on strengthening Chicago values and getting more aligned around relationships that matter.

As we continue forward, we won't get complacent. We'll approach our work confidently, but we won't cross over to arrogance. We will always bear in mind the generations of pioneering research done by our faculty and the work done by our graduates in building the world's market-oriented economies.

Now is also a time to keep in mind the generosity of the thousands of supporters who made this past campaign a success, who decided to invest in this enterprise, and who expressed such great confidence in our future.

Edward A. Snyder
Dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Economics

Last Updated 5/14/09