One of the nine houses in Campus North will be named after Robert Behar, adoctor, businessman and graduate of the College (‘83), the Pritzker Medical School (‘87), and the Booth School of Business (‘11).
The decision was first made public in an interview with Behar in the fall issue of the University of Chicago Magazine. In a meeting of the Special Housing Advisory committee in October, before the interview was published, student members of the committee were told by representatives of College housing that the names of three Campus North houses had been chosen but will not be announced until Winter Quarter at the earliest, according to notes from the meeting. The Special Housing Advisory Committee includes representatives of each of the to-be-retired houses.
Behar House will be one of eight new houses in Campus North (two of the nine communities will merge). In April of last year, the College announced that the nine houses in five off-campus dorms would be “retired” after Campus North opened and those dorms closed. Members of those houses could then move together as a community into Campus North.
Members of the committee were told that names of the retired houses would not be used as placeholder names until new names were assigned. None of the chosen names had yet been assigned to a specific group of students moving into Campus North. At a more recent meeting of the committee a week ago, a representative of College Housing confirmed that Behar would be the name of a Campus North house.
In his interview with University of Chicago Magazine, Behar said the house would be renamed after his foundation made a $2 million donation to the University. The Dr. Robert A. Behar Foundation was created a little more than four months ago, according to a filing with the Texas Secretary of State.
Behar helped found a network of cancer treatment centers in Texas. Behar is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer for North Cypress Medical Center, a hospital in the suburbs of Houston he founded in 2007. The son of Cuban refugees, Behar grew up in Chicago.
Behar and Cypress North Medical Center are the target of a lawsuit by Aetna, a large insurance firm, that claims the hospital used deceptive billing practices in order to overcharge it by as much as $120 million. The suit was filed this February.
Behar started his time at the college living in Pierce Tower, a dorm that stood on the site of the new Campus North until it was torn down in 2013.