Although students come to Chicago Booth to earn their MBA, a handful of them end up with far more.

Roughly five percent of our 52,000 alumni have married fellow Booth graduates. A 2017 Chicago Booth Magazine article explored this topic.

In some cases, having a shared MBA experience translates to exceptional gratitude, which results in a couple supporting the school philanthropically. This phenomenon was well exemplified earlier in the 2017-18 academic year, when Booth announced Amy, ’75, and Richard, ’74, Wallman’s extraordinary $75 million commitment to the school—the Wallmans first met while they were Booth students.

Many other alumni couples have been generous to Booth as well. In honor of Valentine’s Day, below are just a few of their stories:

Their Shared Experience as Booth Students and Alumni
Craig and Raquel reflected, “living in Chicago and experiencing Booth together has always been a special highlight of our relationship. Our year together was filled with great memories such as Friday Brats-n-Brew, friendships, and experiencing graduate school at the same time. It was a time in our life when we enjoyed the flexibility student life offered—late nights studying or hanging out at The Pub at Ida Noyes. We lived off student loans but knew Chicago was going to offer us a bright future.

Chicago was the first city we moved to outside our home state of California. We were both born and raised in sunny Los Angeles and attended the University of California for our undergraduate education (UCSD and UCLA). Moving to Chicago was a new experience for both of us. The winters were brutally cold at times and long. The summers were hot and humid. We felt we truly experienced seasons for the first time which later led us to want to embark on two international moves—one to Munich, Germany and another to London, England.”

Greatest Highlights of Their Booth Experience
Craig wrote, “one of my greatest highlights at Chicago was sitting next to Merton Miller for the beer event, 'Miller Time.' This event combined two great aspects of Chicago—the great social atmosphere and the amazing professors we were exposed to. This event exemplified what the GSB was all about.”

Raquel recalled, “the moment I first stepped on campus, I knew Chicago was a special place. There is a reason it has so many Nobel Prize winners. My classmates all came from interesting backgrounds, were diverse, and were smart—of course. The comradery that existed was amazing. One prime example of this was the GSB Follies. During my second year, the GSB Follies performed the “Wizard of Oz” with a finance twist. I was a Munchkin who ended up breaking her wrist on stage. I tripped during a scene change and said a few words I wish I had not given my mic was still on. My fellow Follies members came to my aid just as professors did in helping me complete my final exams with a broken wrist.”

Why They Give Back to Booth
“As alumni, we have enjoyed meeting fellow alums in the various cities we have lived in through Chicago Booth events. It is interesting to compare each other’s experiences and to see everyone agrees that their years at Chicago were amazing. Chicago Booth is the one school that connects both of us, and thus, it is meaningful. Our children have grown a fondness for it while we have grown the desire to give back. Chicago Booth made a difference in our life, and giving back is a way to say thank you as well as helping make this renowned institution remain a leader.”


How They Met
Matt and Tracy noted that they met at Booth. “We were in the same cohort—Walker to be specific. We met the first week of school, but did not start dating until December.”

What It Was Like To Date A Fellow Boothie
“We did not want people to treat us differently, so we hid our relationship for almost the entire first year. We used to sneak across the hallway between Regents to not get caught.”

Why They Give Back to Booth
“Education is the great equalizer. We both believe that a great education should be available to everyone regardless of their financial situation. Our philanthropic efforts are focused in this area.”


How They Met
Michele wrote, “I remember the first time I saw Lem—it was a few days after I arrived at Chicago my first year at GSB. He was a senior at U of C undergraduate. He was on the steps of I-House talking with a friend. I even remember what he was wearing. Love at first sight?  I guess so—we dated throughout grad school (he went into the professional option program with GSB) and have been married for 41 years now.”

Greatest Highlight of the Booth Experience
Michele recalls attending Bob Hamada’s end of semester review session for corporate finance.

“It was amazing to see him at the front of the room, pacing and smoking—without notes—reviewing the entire semester. He would stay until the last question was answered. Bob was a great teacher—we learned a lot in his class.”

Why They Give Back to Booth
“Both of us benefited from financial aid. This was a critical means for us to be able to attend the University of Chicago. Neither of our families had the financial capacity to send us to a school of its caliber, and being able to attend without the burden of significant loans was a blessing. We give back to help future students who may need financial support to have those same opportunities to attend Booth.”

How They Met
Stacy recalls, “Vic and I met at the very start of school our first year in 1990 at an Outward Bound event. It was the day after the pub crawl and my first (and last) taste of Jagermeister. Our cohort was instructed to make a human knot, and Vic and I ended up face to face. It turned out we also had statistics together. I called him one night to compare answers and we became good friends and started dating very early first year.”

Greatest Highlight of Their Booth Experience
“The greatest highlight of our experience at Booth was definitely the people! We took classes from Nobel laureates, got great educations, and made lifelong friendships. We recently attended our 25th reunion, and it was so amazing! Our classmates are so impressive and accomplished, and yet, we all fell right back into the old friendships and days at the pub. So fun!”

Why They Give Back to Booth
“We give back to the school because Chicago Booth really defined and launched both of our careers. It is an amazing platform and a huge network of great people. Now we are helping each other’s kids get launched. Our own children are still in high school, but they both have an interest in business, and we would love to see them attend Booth one day!”