Newswise — In an effort to support the growing number of veterans attending the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Harper Family Foundation has made a $10 million gift to provide scholarship assistance to current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces enrolled in Booth’s Full-Time, Evening, Weekend and Executive MBA Programs.
The Harper Family Foundation was launched by Chicago Booth alumnus Charles “Mike” Harper, ’50, who showed extraordinary generosity to the school before his death in May 2016. The idea for this most recent gift began when fellow alumnus Eric Gleacher, ’67, encouraged the foundation to double the impact of the $10 million veteran scholarship gift he made in 2016. Gleacher served in the Marine Corps and Harper was in the U.S. Army, giving them both a special affinity for veterans.
“This gift fits nicely with my father’s personality and his allegiance to both the country and the military,” said Harper’s son, Dr. Michel (Mike) Harper. “The whole purpose of our foundation is to make transformative investments that encourage and reward leadership, supporting an individual’s path to success so they may amplify their potential.”
“Military veterans are a great asset to the Chicago Booth community. The experience, commitment to service and maturity that they bring are incredibly valuable to us,” said Madhav Rajan, Chicago Booth dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Accounting. “We are committed to increasing scholarship support and are grateful to the Harper Family Foundation, whose generous gift will allow more veterans to benefit from a Booth education.”
The $10 million gift will establish and endow the Harper Family Foundation Veteran Scholars Fund as a permanent source of scholarship, helping underwrite Booth’s expanded financial support. Financial assistance will also be available to current members of the military who plan to resume active duty after receiving their degree.
Chicago Booth has built a reputation for providing veteran support through participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program, a voluntary program that allows universities to enter into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed the established thresholds under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Chicago Booth has made a concerted effort to increase veteran recruitment. Since 2006, the school has seen a nearly 300 percent increase in the number of MBA students who are veterans. In 2018-19, 71 veterans were enrolled in Booth’s four MBA programs.