Annual Fund and Alumni Engagement Report


In a year unlike any other in the history of our school, the support of our alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends allowed Chicago Booth to continue to provide a world-class business education for our students despite the ever-changing landscape of our world. Although classrooms turned into Zoom rooms, and many beloved activities and opportunities for our community to gather were put on hold, you still showed up to support Booth in a time when the school needed it the most.

I hope you will take the time to learn more about some of the incredible feats we were able to accomplish this year through the support of the Annual Fund. From the compelling work by our Diversity & Inclusion Alumni Task Force to our record-breaking turnout during Giving Day in April 2021, you showed up in more ways than one to support the Booth community.

Caroline Karr, ’88
Chief Advancement and Strategy Officer

Annual Fund Impact


The Chicago Booth Annual Fund ended fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020–June 30, 2021) with $12,940,717 in unrestricted funding—the highest Annual Fund total in our history.

“A robust Annual Fund means that Booth can remain flexible. In a year of many difficult decisions, these unrestricted funds made it possible to best support the Booth community and continue to keep the school moving forward.”


Madhav Rajan

Dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Accounting

Your gifts to the Annual Fund made the following possible:

Curricular Innovation

Sixty-two new courses in the past five years is evidence that Chicago Booth are always innovating—and the 2020–21 academic year was no different. The first 14 students were admitted to the accelerated JD/MBA Program in August 2020; as a part of the school’s Diversity & Inclusion initiative, student orientation included bias training and we introduced a new course, Diversity in Organizations, with Jane L. Risen, Professor of Behavioral Science and John E. Jeuck Faculty Fellow and this year also marked the launch of the Healthcare Initiative.

Faculty Research

There were 154 faculty members in the 2020–21 academic year, the highest faculty count in the school’s history. Their research is as important as ever, and many studied topics related to the pandemic, which were collected in the Weekly COVID-19 Thought Leadership newsletter.

Global Initiatives

Establishing physical space outside of Chicago is essential to bolstering Booth’s global network. We look forward to gathering in our new and dynamic London Campus, which will be fully open fall 2021. In the meantime, alumni found ways to gather virtually—2020–21 marked the initiation of 55 Global Leaders Group members. The group will serve as ambassadors for the school and help expand the brand by facilitating networking channels and events to support Chicago Booth’s mission globally.


From the 2019–20 to the 2020–21 academic year, we saw a 40 percent increase in scholarship funding. Morgan Franklin, Class of 2021 Full-Time scholarship recipient and winner of the 2021 Chicago Booth Community Award, shared, “I am committed to making the Booth name well-known and ever more respected. I am committed to giving back so that more students like myself can choose to attend Booth without fear of financial debt.”

Annual Fund Progress

In light of the rapidly evolving coronavirus pandemic, Chicago Booth decided to hold only virtual events this year for the safety of our community. Regardless that in-person events could not take place, alumni continued to engage with Chicago Booth. Whether it was through volunteering, giving, or attending events, we are thankful to the 13,892 alumni who cultivated the Booth alumni network through this difficult year.

Annie White
Senior Director, Alumni Relations

virtual events for alumni—including academic webinars, company pitch events, wine tastings, and networking sessions.

different speakers—Brian O’Connor, adjunct associate professor of entrepreneurship, was the most frequent speaker, as he headlined the six-part Entrepreneurship through Acquisition series put on by the Chicago Booth Alumni Club of Chicago.

alumni volunteers—volunteers are critical in building the Chicago Booth community.

The Chicago Booth Angels Network held a virtual global summit for regional leaders to share best practices.

The Chicago Booth Alumni Club of Chicago and the Booth Alumni Nonprofit Consultants hosted a discussion about the film The Road Up, about local nonprofit CARA.

The Chicago Booth Alumni Club of San Francisco hosted Professor Michael Gibbs for his talk Wine Economics: Expert Ratings, Wine Pricing, and Globalization.

Volunteer Perspectives

Read more volunteer perspectives.

“I got so much from the Booth program and from my cohort that it was important to me to continue the connection with Booth post-graduation. I firmly believe that the connection with Booth is lifelong and that you get out what you put in.”


Heather Wade, ’18 (EXP-23)

“Many [other alumni] have also given generously of their time and support—during the admissions process, throughout the classroom experience, as fellow alumni and business operators.”


S. Anil Kumar, ’09


Events and Highlights

Diversity & Inclusion Alumni Task Force

In January 2021, we formed an alumni volunteer group uniquely positioned to help diversify our student outreach approach, strengthen diverse alumni engagement and visibility, and raise new funds for diversity and inclusion initiatives. 

Members of the Diversity & Inclusion Alumni Task Force were divided into three distinct committees: Admissions, Alumni Engagement, and Fundraising. As a result of this task force, we have applied more strategies to reach out to underrepresented student populations, connect with more diverse alumni, and explore opportunities for mentorship and network improvement. Lastly, we have raised more than $1 million from 600+ donors in support of diversity scholarships and educational inclusion pipeline programs for our community.


Diversity & Inclusion Dialogues

This year, we launched Diversity & Inclusion Dialogues, a program series for Chicago Booth alumni to come together and discuss various aspects of diversity in work and in life. Over the course of the year, D&I Dialogues hosted more than 25 virtual events to engage and educate alumni, students, and other community members, including a nine-part series, Managing Bias in the Workplace, that was sponsored by a gift from the Class of 2020 Full-Time Program.


Diversity & Inclusion Challenge

Gayathri Rajan and Dean Madhav Rajan sponsored a challenge to find 500 donors to support Chicago Booth’s newly formed diversity and inclusion funds by fiscal year end. After just two months, we reached that 500-donor milestone, thereby successfully unlocking the Rajans’ $100,000 gift! Inspired by those who had already risen to the challenge, the D&I Alumni Task Force fundraising committee sponsored another $30,000 to challenge 100 more donors by June 30, which was also successful. 

donors to D&I funds

raised for D&I funds

One of our flagship events, Worldwide Booth Night (WBN), was also held virtually. Chicago Booth Alumni Relations hosted one-hour sessions across 14 global time zones, starting in Australia and ending on the west coast of the United States. Dean Madhav Rajan, deputy dean Randall S. Kroszner, and alumni leaders from across the globe participated via video.

alumni registered to attend WBN


of those who registered were attending WBN for the first time

countries were represented by alumni registered for WBN

raised from 76 gifts during WBN

Brasilia Time Zone

Central European Time Zone

Eastern Daylight Time Zone

Hong Kong Time Zone

India Time Zone

Mountain Time Zone

Pacific Time Zone

All gifts of $2,500 or more made between December 1 and 15, 2020, helped unlock a total of $55,000 to Chicago Booth. In just 15 days, the collective support of an anonymous alumnus from the Class of 1987 and 54 Booth alumni and friends raised a cumulative total of $163,101 for Chicago Booth.

Giving Day is an annual philanthropic event held in partnership with the entirety of the University of Chicago community. This year’s Giving Day was by far the most successful to date for Chicago Booth by number of challenges, dollars raised, and alumni engaged. These numbers represent what the Chicago Booth community can accomplish together. The funds raised during Giving Day, and every day, make it possible for Booth to empower bold thinkers and inquisitive minds to dig deeper, discover more, and shape the future.

total donors

first-time Booth donors

return Giving Day donors

13 challenges increased the impact of every gift made on Giving Day:

Class of 2021 Participation Challenge

106 donors unlocked the challenge and together raised $13,576 for the Booth Annual Fund.

Diversity & Inclusion Participation Challenge

The 80-donor goal was more than doubled, with 205 donors supporting D&I funds on Giving Day.

Research and Learning Center Challenges

Donors successfully unlocked seven separate challenges, raising more than $233,500 for participating research centers and initiatives. Watch what their gifts make possible.

While we wish we could have been together in person, Reconnect 2021 was a great success with over 2,100 alumni and guests in attendance. Events ranged from conversations with the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award winners to Management Conference sessions to wine and tequila panels. Additionally, many classes hosted reunion-specific events on Saturday, and these sessions were a time for classmates to connect with one another, catch up on what’s changed since graduation, and chat about old memories. We are already looking forward to Reconnect 2022!

The Chicago Booth Black Alumni Association presented a panel during Reconnect 2021, titled Empowering Black Voices in Business.

During Reconnect 2021, Professor Steven Neil Kaplan moderated a discussion among Cliff Asness, MBA’91, PhD’94; David Booth, ’71; and Eugene F. Fama, MBA’64, PhD’64.

The Class of 2011 organized an interactive, virtual social event during Reconnect 2021.

Mike Davis, ’81, with his reunion mug

Irv Agard, ’71, with his reunion mug

Whitney Enright, ’16, with her reunion mug

from 1,866 donors in a reunion year

alumni and guests in attendance

unique virtual events

To close out the 2020–21 fiscal year, Craig Dawson, ’99, and Raquel Dawson, ’00, sponsored a $100,000 challenge that would only be unlocked if 1,000 or more donors made a gift during the month of June. The support of 1,210 donors surpassed the Booth Community Challenge goal.


donors made their first-ever gift to Booth


Thank you for your continued support

Annual Fund Ways to Give


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Gift Administration and Business Data
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We strive to make sure all donors to Chicago Booth are appreciated and recognized correctly. For any update requests, please contact us directly at 773.702.7747 or

Advancement and Alumni Relations Leadership Team

Adam Niermann

Senior Director, Leadership and Annual Giving

Lisa Miller

Senior Director, Operations, Communications, and Events

Alyson Schumacher

Senior Director, Advancement Services

Paul Seeley

Senior Director, Principal and Major Gifts

Kathleen Sullivan

Senior Director, Global Advancement

Annie White

Senior Director, Alumni Relations

If you have any additional questions, please contact us at

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