Ken Griffin majored in economics, and it inspired him to create a little trading startup called Citadel in his Cambridge, Mass., dorm room. Since then, the little hedge fund that could has grown quite a bit, and has a rather insatiable appetite for fresh blood that has not disappointed Ken Griffin yet.
Sure, Citadel draws new talent from all over the place, notable from other hedge funds and from Cambridge’s lesser institution of higher education. But a stable, local source of young Ken Griffins would certainly not be unwelcome. As it happens, Citadel’s hometown of Chicago has just such a place, producing just such young people: The University of Chicago’s famed economics department. And as it also happens, the University of Chicago is just about the only place in town that doesn’t have Ken Griffin’s name over a door or on a placard in some suitably grand space. Plus, he’s been feeling super-generouslately, and as relatively conservative as his own alma mater’s econ. department might be, it’s not Milton Friedman’s econ. department. And that is now Ken Griffin’s econ. department—and it came cheaper than Harvard’s financial aid office.
The University of Chicago’s prestigious economics department will be renamed for billionaire hedge-fund manager Kenneth Griffin, who will give $125 million to the university….
“You need resources to take long bets,” said John List, the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the university and chairman of what will now be called the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics….
Mr. List said the gift will expand the department’s size and boost resources for faculty members as well as undergraduates and graduate students. It also will pay for a “research incubator that will fund economists across the campus who we feel are good long bets” but whose research wouldn’t necessarily attract funding from more-traditional sources such as government agencies and foundations, he said.