Honoring the enduring legacy of Enid and Bob Fogel, the Fogel Dinner continues to support diversity at Booth.
- By October 10, 2016
“You cannot think about Enid and Bob and not recognize the potential you have to do something that can be as great.”
As an interracial couple starting out in the mid-20th century, the Fogels faced discrimination just going about the quotidian pursuits of life, which Bob recalled in a 2007 interview with Chicago Booth Magazine.
“Enid and I knew we were flying in the face of convention,” Fogel told CBM. “New York [where Fogel was raised, attended school, and met his wife] still had a lot of racial segregation when we got married. There were restaurants that would not seat blacks. . . . When we sat in the New York subway trains holding hands, everybody would look at us, black and white alike; it was so unusual.”
At the dinner, Enid made sure the penurious student guests got a hearty meal, served despite the cramped quarters on the family china. “Enid felt very close to the minority community at Chicago, and she was passionate about bringing in strong minority students to the program,” said Eddie Pulliam, senior associate director of admissions, who attended the dinner over the years and worked with Enid Fogel at Booth. “Bob loved to meet people and understand why they wanted to get an MBA,” Pulliam said. After her husband gave a welcome speech, Enid had one especially cherished tradition. “After Bob spoke, that was her sign to ring a little glass bell,” Pulliam recalled. “It added a touch of elegance to the evening.”
The Fogel Dinner tradition continues this fall, complete with a dinner bell. “It’s a great opportunity for students to see that the diversity community is a much larger group than the current classes,” Jaggers said. It also reinforces Bob and Enid’s amazing legacy. “They were both very accomplished folks, able to forge ahead regardless of roadblocks,” Pulliam said. “You cannot think about what they went through and not recognize the potential that you have to do something that can be as great.”