The gift will establish the Gleacher Veteran Scholars Fund as a permanent source of scholarship support for veterans looking to bridge the gap between government benefits and the costs associated with receiving their MBA degree from Booth. The number of veterans in Booth programs has increased substantially over the past several years, thanks in part to the Yellow Ribbon Program, a voluntary program that allows universities to enter into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to underwrite tuition and fee expenses that exceed the established thresholds under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. There currently are seventy-eight veterans enrolled in Booth's MBA program.
After earning a bachelor's degree at Northwestern University in 1962, Gleacher served three years as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps before enrolling at Booth. He joined Lehman Brothers in New York in 1968, became a partner in 1973, and founded the firm's mergers and acquisitions business. He later headed a similar practice at Morgan Stanley. In 1990, he founded Gleacher and Company, a boutique M&A firm he ran until 2009, when he sold it and retired as CEO. In 1996, Gleacher gave $15 million to Booth to help finance its downtown Chicago riverfront Gleacher Center, which houses Booth's evening and weekend programs as well as its North American executive program.
"Military veterans bring a great deal to the Chicago Booth community in terms of their experience, commitment to service, and maturity. I'm delighted we have significantly increased the number of veterans in our programs," said Sunil Kumar, dean of Chicago Booth and the George Pratt Shultz Professor of Operations Management. "Eric's gift will make pursuing an MBA at Booth significantly more affordable for many of these veterans, and thus will have a substantially positive impact on the Booth community as a whole."