The University of Chicago's business school will get a $300 million boost to its endowment -- and a new name -- from David Booth, an investor who has tried to avoid the limelight until now.
University of Chicago
Professor Eugene Fama (left) with donor David G. Booth (right) at the donation ceremony.
The gift, among the largest donations ever to a U.S. university, comes as endowments have been hit hard by the financial meltdown, and many potential donors are tightening purse strings. The 61-year-old Mr. Booth, chief executive of the Dimensional Fund Advisors mutual fund, said Thursday that he will donate $300 million of his firm's stock to the business school, from which he graduated in 1971.
The Chicago school will change its name to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and use the funds to hire and retain professors, and to expand its publications, said Edward Snyder, the school's dean.
The gift represents a coming-out for Mr. Booth, who is largely unknown outside the rarefied world of academic research and in finance. In the 27 years since founding Dimensional, Mr. Booth has played a behind-the-scenes role, while his now-retired partner, Rex Sinquefield, was the public face of the company.