Alumni Affairs Update

Alumni Celebrate and Support Booth at Reunions

Class Reunions

Image by Beth Rooney

November reunions for six classes not only drew warm reviews, they also marked donations to Chicago Booth totaling more than $1.4 million.

For the second year, separate events designed to make it easier for alumni to connect with classmates drew more than 500 graduates from the classes of 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, and 2008 on November 7, the day after Alumni Celebration. The gatherings gave them a chance to reconnect, tour Harper Center in Hyde Park, and for some, even experience the LEAD program for the first time. Alumni from those classes donated $1,462,385 to the school by December 15, although additional gifts were expected until the end of the calendar year.

Among the participants was Luis Miranda, ’89. “It was great reconnecting with classmates, some of whom we hadn’t seen for 20 years. The team at Chicago Booth did a great job giving us a good mix of fun networking, formal events, and classroom sessions,” he said. “My wife and I are happy that we made the trip from India.” As a member of the group that helped create LEAD but did not experience the course, Miranda and others were glad to attend a session hosted by second-year students to mark its 20th anniversary. “That session was clearly one of the highlights of Reunion Weekend,” he said.

Sreedhar Sivakumaran, ’04, who served on his class’s reunion committee, agreed. “It was great to meet with some classmates with whom we had lost touch over the course of five years. Planning for such an event was an exciting learning experience on how to reach out and spend time with alumni who have dispersed over time.”

The class of 2004’s gathering was a particularly international group, said Samantha Pokroy Bossenger, ’04. “Reunion was a fantastic experience — the turnout far exceeded my expectations as classmates came from all over the U.S. and the world. 
We had excellent opportunities to catch up and socialize like when we were in school — a happy reminder that while the world changes a lot, those business school relationships have staying power! Reunion refueled our engines for the next five years.”

For London-based Blair Jacobson, ’99, it was a welcome chance to spend time both with alumni and with the city itself. “I’m very glad I participated. Much has happened over the past decade, and this was a great opportunity to reconnect with my classmates. I also got reacquainted with the school, its professors, the new Harper Center, and the city. We had a great turnout, which underscored the loyalty of the class of 1999. The trip from London was definitely worthwhile — I’m already looking forward to our next reunion.”

The event even won over John Robinson, ’04 (XP-73), who admitted he rarely attends reunions. “My experience with Chicago Booth has been so enjoyable that I not only attended my reunion, I volunteered for the committee. As a member of XP-73, I grew very close to my classmates over our 20 months together, and I still keep in touch with many of them. I look forward to more opportunities to share my experience with former, current, and prospective students, as well as attending my 10-year reunion,” he said.—P.H.

Reunion Giving

Class Year / Amount
1984    $179,745
1989    $233,197
1994    $939,001
1999    $69,395
2004    $24,968
2008    $27,131

Thaler Draws Large Audience at GLS in Asia

Speaking about his best-selling book Nudge, which presents an argument for “libertarian paternalism,” Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics Richard Thaler drew record crowds last fall at Global Leadership Series events in Asia.

Thaler spoke to 150 participants in Singapore at the American Club, 80 in Hong Kong at the American Club, and 80 in Taipei at Taipei 101, an event preceded by a media conference hosted by the China Times and moderated by Christina Liu, MBA ’80, PhD ’86.

He also drew 250 attendees in Shanghai at Three on the Bund, organized by Global Advisory Board member Michelle Liem, ’89, and the Three Talk Series; some 130 attendees in Seoul at an event organized with the help of the Korea National Strategy Institute; and 100 participants in Tokyo at the ANA Intercontinental. He also drew a crowd of 70 to a talk in Dubai hosted by the DIFC Centre of Excellence.—P.H.

Booth Alumni Meet New Cubs Owners

Chicago Booth alumni had a chance to meet the new owners of the Chicago Cubs and hear the details of the deal when Pete Ricketts, AB ’86, MBA ’91, and Tom Ricketts, AB ’87, MBA ’93, spoke at the Chicago Booth Alumni Club’s annual meeting at Gleacher Center in November.

The Ricketts family, longtime Cubs fans and owners of online brokerage Ameritrade, answered questions and described how they used the “Chicago approach” in buying a 95 percent stake in the Major League Baseball team and its Wrigley Field home, along with 25 percent of Comcast SportsNet Chicago, a website that covers Chicago’s professional sports teams, for $845 million.

The event, one of more than 40 the club sponsored in 2009, was the final gathering coordinated by outgoing president David Burrus, ’92, who welcomed incoming president Dennis Aust, AB ’79, MBA ’80, at the annual meeting.—P.H.

Booth Deans Judge Business Leader Awards

Among judges at CNBC’s eighth annual Asia Business Leaders Awards in Singapore were deputy dean Mark Zmijewski, who served as lead judge, and Bill Kooser, ’81, then associate dean for part-time MBA programs. They joined an independent panel of management strategists, academics, corporate personalities, and CNBC executives at the November event. The award recognizes “exceptional CEOs globally who are visionaries behind today’s outstanding businesses.”—P.H.

Alumni Celebrate Connection to Booth

Before a sellout crowd of nearly 1,000 guests at Chicago’s Navy Pier during Alumni Celebration in November, the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award winners credited Chicago Booth and its faculty for contributing to their achievements.

“It was the intellectual honesty of Booth and the different professors I had that shaped my thinking of the great challenges,” said Ron Huberman, MBA ’00, AM ’00, who received the Distinguished Public Service/Public Sector Alumni Award.

Ronald Packard, ’89, who won the Distinguished Entrepreneurial Alumni Award, said he’d “never felt more at home intellectually” than he had at Booth, which he praised for being a “center of economic freedom,” listing the writings of Milton Friedman as an example.

Paul Purcell, ’71, who won the Distinguished Corporate Alumni Award, said he was “extremely honored,” foremost because of “my profound respect for Chicago Booth, its academic prowess, and its history of developing great leaders.”

Matthew Li, ’91, who won the Distinguished Young Alumni Award, said he immigrated from China with only $100. “The fact that I’m standing here tonight is a demonstration of the power of a Chicago education,” he said.—M.S.P.

2009 – 10 ARA Scholarships Announced

Chicago Booth announced the recipients of the 2009–10 Alumni Recognition Awards, which provide a merit-based scholarship worth $10,000 to each second-year student winner. In addition, each student is linked with an alumnus who has excelled in his or her field and has agreed to act as a mentor. Students are chosen for outstanding academic achievement and community service during their first year at Chicago Booth.—P.H.

2009–10 Alumni Recognition Awards

Joshua Bloom with Nina Huang, ’04 (XP-73), president, Bamboo Ventures, LLC
Kipp Davis with Rajesh Kalathur, ’97, vice president of sales and marketing in China/India/South and East Asia/Sub-Saharan and South Africa, Deere & Company
Tim Kessler with Patrick Odier, ’82, senior partner, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Cie
Sarah McGinty with Samantha Pokroy Bossenger, ’04, principal, Ethos Private Equity
Kathrin Schmid with Francisco Perez Mackenna, ’82, CEO, Quinenco S.A.
Michael Thompson with Eugene Choung, ’93, managing director, Emerald Hill Capital Partners
Devin Wilde with Tom Ricketts, AB ’87, MBA ’93, CEO, Incapital
Anne Wong with Erwin Rezelman, ’03 (AXP-2), president, SAPS Labs Brazil

Changes in alumni club leadership

Seven alumni clubs have announced new leadership.


President Mario Schlener, ’09 (EXP-14)
Outgoing president Kurt Blecha, ’02 (EXP-7)


President Dennis Aust, AB ’79, MBA ’80
Outgoing president David Burrus, ’92

Hong Kong

President King Leung, ’99
Outgoing president William Liu, ’03 (AXP-2)


Incoming co-president Chantal van de Boom, ’09
Outgoing co-president Sofie Cammers, ’02
Outgoing co-president Harald Walkate, ’01
Returning co-president James Huyghe, ’08
Returning co-president Hinne Temminck Tuinstra, ’04


First president Juan Ostoja, ’02


President Michal Ruminski, ’09 (EXP-14)
Outgoing president Don Mucha, ’69 (XP-25)


President Ajay Chavali, ’04
Outgoing president Ivan Joseph, ’03

Last Updated 7/7/10