The Harper Family Foundation Veteran Scholars Fund will provide financial assistance to academically accomplished current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces enrolled in Booth's full-time, evening, weekend, and executive MBA programs. The Harper Foundation was launched by Booth alumnus and U.S. Army veteran Charles "Mike" Harper ('50) before his death in 2016. Marine Corps veteran and Booth alumnus Eric Gleacher inspired the gift by encouraging the foundation to double the impact of a $10 million gift for veterans scholarships gift he made to the school in 2016.
Chicago Booth has built a reputation for providing support to veterans through the Yellow Ribbon Program, a voluntary program that allows universities, in agreement with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to underwrite tuition and fees that exceed established thresholds under the post-9/11 GI Bill. Since 2006, the school has seen a nearly 300 percent increase in veterans seeking an MBA, including a record seventy-one veterans enrolled in 2018-19.
"This gift fits nicely with my father's personality and his allegiance to both the country and the military," said Harper's son, Michel "Mike" Harper. "The whole purpose of our foundation is to make transformative investments that encourage and reward leadership, supporting an individual's path to success so they may amplify their potential."
"Military veterans are a great asset to the Chicago Booth community. The experience, commitment to service, and maturity that they bring are incredibly valuable to us," said Chicago Booth dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Accounting Madhav Rajan. "We are committed to increasing scholarship support and are grateful to the Harper Family Foundation, whose generous gift will allow more veterans to benefit from a Booth education."