Way to go, Ken !!
In academia, there are the guys who teach economics, theorize economics, write economics and win Nobel Prizes in economics, and then there’s the guy who strides in, slaps a horse gagger on the table and shows what real money is.
That guy is Ken Griffin.
The University of Chicago has announced that the seasonal Palm Beach resident is the donor of $125 million, earmarked for the Department of Economics. It brings Griffin’s total support of the department to $150 million and is the second-largest gift in the school’s history.
That’s right, second-largest. The first is $300 million from David G. Booth, MBA 1971, for whom the university’s Booth School of Business is named.
The gift, from the Griffins’ eponymous charitable fund, will help the Department of Economics to develop future leaders in the field by supporting scholarships for third- and fourth-year students through the university’s Odyssey Scholarship Program and by providing stipends to graduate students and support for graduate research.
It also will support new and ongoing research by faculty and include the launch of the Kenneth C. Griffin Applied Economics Research Incubator, which will focus on new strategies to strengthen the understanding and impact of economics.
In honor of Griffin’s generosity, the University of Chicago’s Department of Economics — which can claim 29 scholars who have earned a Nobel Prize — will be named for him.
“I am proud to support the extraordinary work of the Economics Department and a university so fundamentally committed to free expression, fierce debate and intellectual pursuit,” Griffin said in a statement to the Chicago Tribune. “The culture of rigorous questioning and open discourse at the university … has opened minds to ideas that have changed the world.”
“It is difficult to find an area of life or a problem faced by humanity that isn’t rooted in economics, from educating children to preventing war to fueling life-changing innovation,” said John List, chairman of the Department of Economics and the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor. “[It] is a commitment … that confronts the most pressing issues facing society.”
Griffin, founder and CEO of Citadel, joined the university’s Board of Trustees in 2014.