The University of Chicago Board of Trustees has elected Andrew M. Alper, AB'80, MBA'81, to a three-year term as the board's chairman.
Alper will receive the gavel from current chairman James S. Crown at the end of the board's annual meeting on June 4.
Alper, an active alumnus since his graduation, has served as a trustee since 1999, most recently as vice-chairman. He became Chairman of the Chicago Initiative in 2005, leading the University's landmark capital campaign to a record-breaking finish last summer, with a total of $2.38 billion in gifts from 117,700 individuals, families and organizations.
He is also a member of the Visiting Committee to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and has been deeply involved in many of the University's most important initiatives in recent years.
"Andy's connection to the University dates back to his student days, when he worked to receive two degrees here. As a trustee and alumnus, he has served his alma mater with keen insight and tireless devotion," Crown said. "As vice chairman, he has been a wonderful partner to me and his fellow trustees. His election as chairman will provide the board with strong leadership for the years ahead."
"Andy has been a tireless advocate for the University and an important leader in so much of the board's varied work," said University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer. "He has been a major contributor to the strategic work of the board, and with his leadership, the Chicago Initiative helped secure the future of some of the University's most important priorities, from the Odyssey Scholarships to the Logan Center for the Arts to new facilities for biological, medical and physical sciences. Bringing that leadership as chairman of the board, Andy will help us build on that momentum and further the distinctive and powerful culture of the University."
After earning his bachelor's degree in Economics and an MBA, Alper left Chicago for New York, where he spent 21 years at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker, co-head of the Financial Institutions Group and Chief Operating Officer of the Investment Banking Division.
In 2002, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Alper President of the New York City Economic Development Corp. and Chairman of the New York City Industrial Development Agency. Working for $1 a year, Alper helped convince companies to stay and rebuild in lower Manhattan in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, while developing strategies to bring jobs and economic growth back to the city as a whole.
He is now chairman of EQA Partners, L.P., an asset management firm specializing in global macro and currency strategies. He also serves as a trustee of the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and a director of Friedman, Billings and Ramsey Capital Markets Corporation.
"It is a humbling honor to be elected by my fellow trustees to lead the board in these challenging times," Alper said. "The University has enormous momentum, and I look forward to working with the board and President Zimmer to capitalize on our opportunities. I am personally grateful for the opportunity to give back to an institution that has meant so much to me and my family."
Alper will be the fourth undergraduate alumnus to serve as Chairman of the Board. Harold Swift led the trustees from 1922 to 1948, Robert W. Reneker was chairman from 1976 to 1981 and Edwin Bergman held the post from 1981 to 1985.
The board elected Alper chairman at its March 5 meeting, after Crown announced he would be stepping down from the post last month. Crown, who has served as chairman for six years, will remain a trustee of the University.