A $10 million donation from an alumnus and former officer in the Marine Corps will fund scholarships for U.S. veterans pursuing their M.B.A., the University of Chicago Booth School of Business announced earlier this month.
The Gleacher Veteran Scholars Fund, named after Eric Gleacher (M.B.A. ’67), will establish a permanent endowment to cover the difference between government benefits earned by veterans and the costs of a Booth M.B.A. The total cost of attendance at Booth for the 2015–16 academic year is over $97,000.
Booth currently enrolls 78 veterans. The school participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, through which the Department of Veterans Affairs coordinates with private universities to help cover education-related costs, beyond what is covered by the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill does not cover the entirety of the cost of most private schools, including Booth.
Gleacher, after graduating with an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps for three years. He earned an M.B.A. from Booth in 1967.
“My experience in the Marine Corps gave me a boost in self-confidence, and my Booth education game me direction, helping me decide which area of business I wanted to pursue,” Gleacher said in a statement released by the University News Office.
“It was a winning combination, and I wanted to make it possible for those who have served our country to have the same opportunity.”
Joseph Buck, associate dean for Office of Advancement at Booth, said, “Booth is a place where veterans are recognized as adding value.”
Buck added that this gift will give Booth the flexibility to create the best financial aid packages for veterans, who may not have had a chance to take a lucrative job prior to attending business school.
In 1968, Gleacher joined Lehman Brothers, where he founded the firm’s mergers and acquisitions business. He then headed mergers and acquisitions at Morgan Stanley, and oversaw some of the biggest business deals of the 1980s. In 1990, he founded his own firm, Gleacher and Company, which he ran until 2009 when he sold it and retired as CEO.
Gleacher has a history of supporting the University. He has previously served on the Board of Trustees, and in 1996, Gleacher donated $15 million to name the Gleacher Center on the riverfront downtown, which is home to the Booth School’s weekend and evening programs, in addition to its North American executive M.B.A. program.
Buck hopes that his gift will bring more visibility to the veteran community at Booth. This gift comes as a part the University’s Inquiry and Impact capital campaign, publicly launched in October 2014.