Oct. 10, 2002
Vol. 22 No. 2

current issue
archive / search

    GSB, Humanities Division to share $10 million gift from Neubauer Foundation

    The University has received a $10 million gift from the Neubauer Family Foundation for new programs that will advance the University’s efforts to attract the finest faculty and students in business and in the humanities.

    The gift, to be divided equally between the Graduate School of Business and the Division of the Humanities, will provide $5 million to fund a new faculty fellowship program that will attract leading faculty to the GSB, and $5 million to fund a new graduate fellowship program that will attract promising scholars to the Humanities division. The $5 million gift to the Humanities is the largest ever given to that division of the University.

    “The Neubauer Family believes in investing in exceptional people,” remarked President Randel. “They understand that the University will only be as good as our students and our faculty, and their gift will ensure that Chicago will be better positioned to compete with our peers for the most talented people.”

    Joseph Neubauer, who received his M.B.A. from the University in 1965, heads the Neubauer Family Foundation.

    “We are extremely grateful for the contributions the University has made to American education,” Neubauer said. “The Neubauer family strongly believes in promoting the highest levels of excellence. We are delighted to make this investment in the University.”

    Neubauer was named chief executive officer of the ARAMARK Corporation in 1983 and also serves on the board of his undergraduate alma mater, Tufts University. He came to this country from Israel by boat alone at age 14. He worked his way through Tufts University by waiting tables, eventually becoming head of food services for his fraternity.

    He was accepted to the University’s GSB and was awarded a full scholarship. Though his father believed one was either born a businessman or not, Neubauer felt otherwise. “The success that I have been fortunate to enjoy in the business world was nurtured by the superb educational experience I received at the University of Chicago,” Neubauer said. “The GSB’s master teachers gave me critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are lifetime assets. Our family’s gift to the GSB is a way to make sure its students will always benefit from extraordinary teachers, as I did.”

    Joseph Neubauer’s son, Lawrence, received both his M.B.A. and J.D. from the University in 1995.

    The first Neubauer Fellow in the Graduate School of Business is Professor of Accounting Philip Berger, who became a member of the GSB faculty this Fall Quarter. Berger earned his M.B.A. and Ph.D. at Chicago before joining the faculty of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

    “The Neubauer Faculty Fellows program will allow the GSB to recruit and retain the most distinguished faculty in management education,” said Edward Snyder, Dean of the GSB. “Bringing these talented individuals to campus to experience the intellectual challenge and stimulation of the University is one of the best recruiting strategies we have.”

    The Neubauer family also has chosen to endow the Neubauer Family Presidential Fellows in the Humanities. “In turbulent times, when the very assumptions of civilization are being attacked, the best way for us to fight terrorism is to support humanism,” said Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer, Joseph Neubauer’s wife. The Neubauer Family Presidential Fellowships will provide 10 graduate students in the Humanities with full funding, including a generous 12-month stipend, for their first five years on campus.

    The fellowships will be offered to the very best students who have been accepted for study in the Humanities division. “The Neubauer family has joined us in championing the highest standards of humanistic scholarship,” said Janel Mueller, Dean of the Division of the Humanities. “Their great generosity will significantly augment our capacity to draw the students who truly belong in this uniquely challenging and rewarding academic environment.”

    Neubauer’s reason for choosing the Humanities is straightforward. “The Humanities program at the University is one of the great treasures of American education,” Neubauer said. “It is the heart of a liberal education. We hope our gift will assist in securing the outstanding graduate students that are essential to sustain it.”

    This gift continues the family’s long history of giving to Chicago. In the past, their gifts to Chicago have included the Neubauer Family Chair in Entrepreneurship and Finance, established in 1994 and currently held by Professor Steven Kaplan of the GSB.

    In addition, when Neubauer and his wife, Jeanette, were married in 1996, guests who asked where they were registered were told “The University of Chicago.” The Neubauers matched those gifts to the Neubauer Junior Faculty Fund with one of their own. In 1998, when the board at ARAMARK sought to recognize Neubauer’s longtime leadership of the company with a gift, he asked that they instead set up the ARAMARK-Joseph Neubauer scholarship fund at the GSB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. “These scholarships embody things that matter so much to me,” Neubauer said at the time. “They give access to American higher education to ambitious and talented students who have ‘fire in their belly’ to learn, to graduate and to go out and become change agents.”

    Randel said, “One of Joe Neubauer’s guiding principles is to remember where you’ve come from and help those who will follow you. All of the Neubauer family’s gifts to Chicago, and I would venture to say elsewhere, have hewed closely to this basic principle, and our students and faculty will benefit from their generosity for generations to come.”