The University of Chicago Booth School of Business’s coffers just grew—and its top scholars will be called by a new name—thanks to a $75 million alumni gift announced today. In recognition of the gift, students who earn highest academic honors while at Booth will be known as the Amy and Richard F. Wallman Scholars, after donors Amy Wallman, MBA’75, and Richard Wallman, MBA’74. The Wallmans’ gift will be used to support several initiatives, including scholarships for students in the full-time, evening, weekend, and executive MBA programs, as well as enhanced co-curricular programming, faculty research, and emerging priorities.
“We have great affection for the University of Chicago—the Booth School of Business is world class, and we hope our gift makes it even better,” Amy Wallman said in a press release. “The Booth School is very special to us not only because we met there,” Richard Wallman added, “but also because we have sponsored 26 scholarship recipients over the years and are delighted to have had a modest impact on these students’ lives.”
Amy Wallman began a 26-year career at EY after completing her Booth MBA, retiring as an audit partner in 2001. She later served as director at pharmaceutical firm Omnicare from 2004 to 2015. Richard Wallman began his post-MBA career with the Ford Motor Company and went on to serve as chief financial officer and senior vice president of Honeywell International Inc., a diversified industrial technology and manufacturing company, and its predecessor AlliedSignal, from 1995 to 2003. He also held senior financial positions with IBM and Chrysler Corporation.
Dean Madhav Rajan, who took the helm at Chicago Booth this past July, welcomed the generous gift, calling it an “endorsement of Chicago Booth’s enduring strengths, in our programs and our extraordinary faculty.” Continued success rests on maintaining and extending the school’s prominence in research and in developing the world’s next leaders, he added.
“The Wallman Scholars will be recognized as preeminent in this cadre of future leaders, modeling the potential and the spirit of their benefactors,” Rajan said. The permanent designation will be bestowed upon graduating MBA students who earn high honors at Booth. It will also be given retroactively to top alumni, according to the school’s press release.
The Wallmans, for their part, shared that they were impressed with Rajan’s vision for the school and hope their gift will help advance that vision. “This is a unique opportunity to make a difference in the careers of Chicago Booth students for generations to come and express our gratitude to those who have helped us,” Amy Wallman said in the press release. “Our parents were great role models to both of us; they gave us the confidence that we could accomplish anything.”
Richard Wallman also shared appreciation for the impact working for former Honeywell International Chairman and CEO Larry Bossidy had on his career and his life and thanked friends at Centerbridge Partners and Merrill Lynch, whom he called “key enablers of this gift.”