November 18, 2004
Vol. 24 No. 5

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    GSB alumnus Rothman increases his original gift

    By Barbara Backe
    Graduate School of Business


    Robert Rothman (M.B.A., ’77), chairman and CEO of Black Diamond Group Inc. (directly above), celebrates at the recent Graduate School of Business building dedication event, at which GSB Dean Edward Snyder announced that the building’s impressive winter garden would be named for Rothman. Rothman increased his original $12 million gift to the school to $20 million. Snyder is joined (top) by Dennis Keller, Andrew Alper and other alumni, faculty and friends of the GSB to commemorate the new building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, which took place Saturday, Nov. 6.

    Edward Snyder, Dean of the Graduate School of Business, and Dennis Keller (M.B.A.,’68), co-chair of the GSB capital campaign, announced that Robert Rothman, a 1977 alumnus of the school, has increased his original $12 million gift to the GSB to $20 million.

    In honor of Rothman’s generosity, Snyder also announced that the new Chicago GSB Hyde Park Center’s winter garden would be named the Rothman Winter Garden.

    Rothman, who also is a member of the GSB Advisory Council and is chairman and CEO of Black Diamond Group Inc., pledged his original gift in 2002, during the quiet phase of the GSB capital campaign.

    As part of the University’s Chicago Initiative capital campaign, the announcements were made at the Saturday, Nov. 6 dedication ceremony for the $125 million business school building. Hundreds of Chicago GSB alumni and friends gathered in the Rothman Winter Garden for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new building.

    “I’m thrilled to be able to make this commitment today,” said Rothman at the ceremony. “My experience at Chicago’s Graduate School of Business was the beginning of a personal transformation. I quickly came to appreciate just how much we enjoy today was made possible by the generosity of others who have come before us,” Rothman said.

    “When I left, I felt energized. It was a battery charge that lasted over 20 years. I was filled with this notion that everything is possible, and possible without compromising integrity. That’s what the University means to me,” he said.

    In his remarks at the dedication ceremony, Snyder said: “The center line in the winter garden of our Hyde Park Center is now our meridian line. Today on this historic day, I would suggest that the prime meridian for management education is right here. As Jim Kilts (M.B.A.,’70) said earlier, when you consider what our faculty have done in developing ideas, which have changed the world, and what our alumni have done to strengthen enterprises in all sectors and all functions around the globe, it’s clear on objective terms the GSB has done more than any other business school to build enterprises, to improve business performance, to increase the efficiency of markets, and to thereby strengthen the global economy.

    “It is extremely fitting that this winter garden, the space we enjoy on this special morning—our new vertical landmark, the platform for the GSB community in Hyde Park, the winter garden whose gothic references span the prime meridian for management education—will be named in honor of an alumnus who represents so well the character of the GSB.”

    After earning his M.B.A., Rothman spent 20 years in the insurance business and 12 years as chairman and CEO of the Consolidated International Group before he formed the Black Diamond Group.