To date, the George Shultz Innovation Fund has invested $7.8 million in 61 companies that have gone on to raise $210 million in follow-on funding. Companies launched with the fund’s support include ExplORer Surgical, Corvidia, ClostraBio, and Super.Tech.
“George Pratt Shultz meant so much to the Chicago Booth community,” added Christine Karslake, ’95, managing director of science ventures at the Polsky Center who also oversees the team that manages the George Shultz Innovation Fund. “He was a beloved mentor and advisor for many students and faculty alike. The George Shultz Innovation Fund was created to pay tribute to him and his desire to see innovation and entrepreneurial startups from the University of Chicago grow and thrive. His legacy will live on in the startups that have been supported by the George Shultz Innovation Fund.”
Shultz earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton University in 1942 and a PhD in industrial economics from MIT in 1949. During this time, he also served in the US Marine Corps for three years, first as an artillery officer and later as a captain.
He began his distinguished political career in 1955, when he took a leave of absence from the MIT faculty to join Eisenhower’s Council of Economic Advisers. In 1969, President Richard Nixon appointed him Secretary of Labor. In this position, he applied academic theory to successfully resolve the Longshoremen’s Union strike and helped combat discriminatory hiring practices in construction unions. He became the first director of the newly formed Office of Management and Budget in 1970 and was later named Secretary of the Treasury. He was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom, in January 1989.
In 1974, Shultz took a break from government to work in business, serving as executive vice president and later president of the engineering and services company Bechtel Group.
Most recently, Shultz served as the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
He is survived by his wife, Charlotte Mailliard Shultz; his children, Margaret Ann Tilsworth, Kathleen Pratt Shultz Jorgensen, Peter Milton Shultz, Barbara Lennox Shultz White, and Alexander George Shultz; 11 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.