The University of Utah has announced gifts totaling $20 million from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles, Marriner S. Eccles, and Charles Koch foundations to establish a new economics institute at the David Eccles School of Business.
The gifts, which include a total of $10 million from the two Eccles foundations and $10 million from the Koch Foundation, will establish the Marriner S. Eccles Institute for Economics and Quantitative Analysis, with a mission to promote innovative academic research and provide students access to high-quality education in economics, game theory, and econometric and quantitative analysis. The institute will focus its efforts in the development of students' quantitative skills, which are widely seen as critical for success in today’s data-driven job market. The funding also will be used to recruit economists to the school’s faculty, underwrite innovative research, and provide student scholarships.
Born in 1890 in Logan, Marriner S. Eccles was the eldest son of pioneering Utah industrialist David Eccles. He helped create First Security Corporation, the nation's first multi-state bank holding company, and his financial leadership during the 1929 stock market crash brought him to the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who tapped him to lead the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Eccles subsequently was appointed chairman of the Federal Reserve and rose to national prominence, guiding U.S. monetary policy during the Great Depression and reshaping the nation's financial system with the Banking Act of 1935.
"We are proud to partner with these foundations to create a world-class economics institute at the David Eccles School of Business," said University of Utah president David W. Pershing. "It will enhance and complement the university’s existing program in economics, expanding areas of faculty expertise and interdisciplinary opportunities and — most importantly — engaging our students in a balance of practical and theoretical learning opportunities."