Chicago Booth, a school in the "Second City’s" famed private university, got its start earlier and its current name more recently than most of its peers in the USA. Foundation as the undergraduate-only College of Commerce and Politics in 1898 makes it the second oldest American business school, while the $300m gift, the largest given to a business school, from alumnus David Booth did not happen until 2008.
Booth endowed what was already a formidable tradition. It introduced the first doctoral programme in business in 1920, the first academic Journal of Business in 1928 and in 1942 became graduate-only. It introduced the "Chicago Approach", the term now copyrighted, from 1956 as an alternative to the dominant Harvard model. This distinctiveness, in particular an emphasis on ideas, is celebrated in a neon installation on its Hyde Park campus asking “Why Are You Here and Not Some Place Else?”
It enjoyed a spectacular run in the 1990s, winning four consecutive Nobel Prizes in economics between 1990 and 1993, and has had nine in all – the most recent won in 2017 by Robert Thaler, whose behaviouralist economics can be seen as a rejoinder to the model-builders of the 1990s.
Doctoral and full-time MBA students work in Hyde Park, with the evening and weekend programmes for the MBA, whose one compulsory element is the Leadership Effectiveness and Development course, downtown in the Gleacher Centre. There has been a London campus since 2005 while the Hong Kong operation, which started in 2014, moved in September 2018 to new state-of-the-art premises in a converted jail.