Chaifetz, along with his wife Jill and son Ross, donated $15 million to the newly
named Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business, bringing the family's total contributions
to the University to $27 million. The family gave the lead gift to spur construction
of SLU's Chaifetz Arena in 2007. SLU announced the $15 million gift on Feb. 20.
In beginning his remarks, Dr. Chaifetz briefly told the story of how former SLU President
Paul Reinert, S.J., allowed him to remain at SLU when financial issues threatened
his ability to stay in school. Chaifetz not only promised Reinert that he pay back
his tuition, but that he would also pay back the University in an even bigger way
in the future.
"This allows me to give back to a school I love, am passionate about and want to make
even greater," Chaifetz told the large crowd. "I want to hear the Chaifetz School
of Business mentioned in the same breath as other great business schools."
In addition to the school, the Center for Entrepreneurship will become the Chaifetz
Center for Entrepreneurship, in honor of the Chaifetz family's generosity.
Speaking for the University's Board of Trustees, Chairman Joseph Conran noted that
Chaifetz always steps forward to provide important perspectives and support when key
decisions come before the Board.
"And now with this leadership gift, Rich has stepped forward again," Conran said.
"This time it isn't a building, but his belief that outstanding business programs
can benefit every student who comes to SLU, whether they plan to follow a business
career or not. He knows entrepreneurs come from all fields, and having the very best
business acumen is essential to succeed in today's economy."
(Right) SLU alumnus, trustee and donor Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz stops for a selfie
with a student before making remarks at a reception honoring his family's $15 million
donation to the newly named Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business on Thursday, Feb.
22. Photo by Steve Dolan
Mark Higgins, Ph.D., Edward Jones Dean of the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business,
spoke of the "truly transformational" nature of the gift.
"This $15 million gift will allow us to focus on our nationally-ranked programs, especially
the entrepreneurship program," Higgins said. "We are delighted to have Dr. Chaifetz's
name on our school and on our Entrepreneurship Center."
Taking the podium, University President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., called the gift an
"This gift directly advances our strategic initiatives related to innovation, entrepreneurship,
academic excellence and research - strategic priorities that Rich has supported and
advocated since the beginning of his tenure as trustee," Pestello said.
"Dr. Chaifetz is also seen as a symbol of resilience, hope, and what is possible through
a SLU education," he continued. "SLU took a chance on Rich, which he did not take
lightly. Our students know and understand that. It is a powerful lesson. SLU believed
and continues to believe in Rich. This gift helps show our students that he believes
in them too."
In addition to the special reception, the University plans a formal celebration and
naming dedication event later this year.
Photos by Steve Dolan
Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious
Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first
university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a rigorous,
transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse
community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares
students to make the world a better, more just place. For more information, visit slu.edu.