University of Chicago
|University of Chicago|
The University of Chicago was founded in 1890 by the American Baptist Education Society and oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, who later described the University of Chicago as “the best investment I ever made.” The land for the new university, in the recently annexed suburb of Hyde Park, was donated by Marshall Field, owner of the Chicago department store that bears his name.
Although the University was established by Baptists, it was non-denominational from the start. It also welcomed women and minority students at a time when many universities did not.
Since the 1950s the University is well known for hosting the Chicago School of Economics, led for many years by Milton Friedman and George Stigler. The economics department has dominated the Nobel Prizes in the past few decades.
Liberal Robert Hutchins, a pioneer of the Essentialist school of education, was the president and chancellor of the university in the mid 20th century. He eliminated the school's football program and attempted to do away with fraternities and campus religious organizations, believing them to be unnecessary distractions.