The Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation is Chicago Booth’s destination for people tackling complex social and environmental problems. Alumni and friends who donate generously at all levels help make our work possible.
Meet three alumni who are driving social impact through their giving to the Rustandy Center: Tandean Rustandy, ’07 (AXP-6); John Edwardson, ’72; and Ron Tarrson, ’72 (XP-31).
Tandean Rustandy, ’07 (AXP-6)
Rustandy’s $20 million gift in 2017 has provided a solid foundation for the future of social impact at Chicago Booth. In recognition of his gift, Booth’s Social Enterprise Initiative was renamed the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation.
Rustandy leads Indonesia-based PT Arwana Citramulia Tbk, a publicly traded company on the Indonesian stock exchange that manufactures ceramic tiles and operates five plants. The company has been lauded repeatedly for its commitment to environmental sustainability and social responsibility, including for building schools, hospitals, and roads. Rustandy is a graduate of Booth’s Executive MBA Program Asia.
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“With the center, we can attract the best and brightest minds—people capable of winning Nobel Prizes—to bring creative and innovative thinking and improve the world.”
—Tandean Rustandy, ’07 (AXP-6), from the Fall 2017 Chicago Booth Magazine
John Edwardson, ’72
With a $5 million gift in 2013, Edwardson helped create the Social Enterprise Initiative, the predecessor to the Rustandy Center, and provided the financial foundation for the Social New Venture Challenge startup competition, which was named the John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge in his honor. Three years later, Edwardson gave an additional $5 million gift to create the Edwardson Social Entrepreneurship Program at Chicago Booth.
From 2001 to 2011, Edwardson was CEO and chairman of Vernon Hills–based CDW, a computer equipment reseller. During his tenure at CDW, the company’s revenues grew from $3.8 billion to more than $10 billion. He also served as president of United Airlines from 1994 to 1998 and as president and COO from 1995 to 1998. He is a university trustee and previously chaired Booth’s alumni advisory board, known as the Council on Chicago Booth.
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“I went to the Social New Venture Challenge, and it really excited me. And I thought, this is where I want my gift to go, to help do more of this.”
—John Edwardson, ’72, speaking to the Chicago Tribune in 2013
Ron Tarrson, ’72 (XP-31)
The Tarrson Social Venture Fellowship at the Rustandy Center provides funding to graduating students or recent alumni of the University of Chicago so they can support themselves while they raise philanthropic or venture capital for their social enterprises. Created by Tarrson in 2017, the Tarrson Social Venture Fellowship is part of the Rustandy Center’s Edwardson Social Entrepreneurship Program and received matching funds from John Edwardson, ’72.
Tarrson, now managing partner and director of Santa Fe, New Mexico–based Santa Fe Aero Services, helped his father and uncle turn the John O. Butler Company, a small toothbrush manufacturer in Chicago, into a leading supplier of toothbrushes to dentists.
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“I always wanted to give back, but it’s more than that. I’ve taken a lot out. The question I asked myself was: How can I give something back? Through education and research to help make it a better world.”
—Ron Tarrson, ’72 (XP-31), in a conversation with Chicago Booth