Gift from Emmanuel Roman, MBA'87, to support Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society

The collaborative, interdisciplinary work of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago will be bolstered by a major gift to the University from philanthropist Emmanuel Roman.

The University has named the directorship of the Neubauer Collegium for the Roman family in recognition of his support. David Nirenberg, who has led the program since its establishment in 2012, will be named the Roman Family Director of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society.

“Manny Roman’s generosity will allow the Neubauer Collegium to flourish for years to come. His pledge ensures that the highest ambitions of our faculty and visiting scholars can be raised and fulfilled,” said Martha T. Roth, dean of the Division of the Humanities and the Chauncey S. Boucher Distinguished Service Professor of Assyriology.


Roman, MBA’87, said he was thrilled to support the Collegium’s research because “the humanities and social sciences play a fundamental role in shaping our understanding of our world, and it is essential that we continue to support and shape the future of these fields. I have great faith in the University’s leadership, as well as in my friend David Nirenberg’s vision for the Neubauer Collegium and for humanistic research.”  

Roman is the CEO of Man Group. He received his MBA in finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (then the Graduate School of Business) in 1987. Born in France, he lives in London with his wife, Barrie Sardoff Roman, and their two daughters.

The Neubauer Collegium was formed in 2012 as an initiative of the Division of the Humanities and the Division of the Social Sciences to address complex questions that transcend the abilities of a single scholar, field or methodology. It supports innovative and collaborative UChicago faculty research projects, serves as a destination for outstanding visiting scholars, artists and practitioners, and pioneers new efforts to engage broad audiences in humanistic scholarship.

The Neubauer Collegium is named in honor of Joseph Neubauer and Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer, whose landmark $26.5 million gift to the University of Chicago in 2012 is among the largest in support of the humanities and social sciences in the institution’s history.

In its inaugural year, the Neubauer Collegium will support 11 visiting fellows and 18 research projects that tackle complex questions through cross-disciplinary collaboration. Projects range from the ancient world to the modern, experiment with emerging technologies and bring international experts to the University of Chicago for collaboration.

“The work of the Neubauer Collegium stems from a belief that integrated, multidisciplinary collaboration will yield new insights into the most complex and ambitious questions in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. I am extraordinarily grateful for Manny Roman’s vote of confidence in this approach,” said Mario Small, dean of the Social Sciences Division and professor in Sociology and the College.

Roman’s gift comes as UChicago prepares to celebrate the official launch of the Neubauer Collegium. Internationally acclaimed artist William Kentridge will deliver the Neubauer Collegium’s inaugural lecture, “Listening to the Image,” at 6 p.m. in Mandel Hall on Oct. 3. The public event will feature guest appearances by members of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center.

“We have a remarkable group of research projects already underway at the Neubauer Collegium. Manny Roman’s generosity ensures that we will have even more inspiring events and projects to look forward to in the future,” said Nirenberg, the Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought.

“Emmanuel is himself an intellectual omnivore. His many and deep interests across multiple domains of the arts and sciences make his engagement all the more meaningful. I am thrilled to begin the year with this remarkable show of support from Manny.”