The University of Chicago is one of the world's great intellectual communities and centers of learning. It has achieved particular distinction through faculty scholarship, the training of graduate students, and an undergraduate education that emphasizes critical thinking and broad, interdisciplinary exposure to the common wisdom of humankind. Few institutions are as well known for advancing knowledge. The first three Americans to win the Nobel Prize in physics were all University of Chicago faculty members. In the last 20 years, Chicago's faculty has been honored with the Nobel prize 27 more times - seven in physics, five in chemistry, 13 in economics, one in literature, and one in peace.
In all, 85 recipients of the Nobel Prize have been students, researchers, or faculty at the University including: economists Milton Friedman, who was cited for his study of monetary policy; Theodore Schultz, who shoed the relationship between education and economic development; George Stigler, who was cited for his research on government regulation; Merton Miller, who assessed the use of debt as a source of corporate capital; Gary Becker, who applied an economic approach to diverse aspects of human behavior; Robert Fogel, who applied economics and statistics to the analysis of history; Robert Lucas, who developed and applied the hypothesis of rational expectations and transformed traditional macroeconomics analysis; and Myron Scholes, who won the award for the work he did to explain the pricing of stock options with the late Fisher Black, also a former University of Chicago faculty member. Eight Nobel laureates are currently active members of the faculty. They are Robert Lucas (economics, 1995), Robert Fogel (economics, 1993), Gary Becker (economics, 1992), James Heckman (economics, 2000), James Cronin (physics, 1980), Ronald Coase (economics, 1991), Roger Myerson (economics, 2007), and Yoichiro Nambu (physics, 2008).
The University of Chicago was founded by John D. Rockefeller in 1890 and its first president was William Rainey Harper. Their institution would be a modern research university, combining an English-style undergraduate college and a German-style graduate research institute. The University of Chicago quickly fulfilled Harper and Rockefeller's dreams by becoming a national leader in higher education and research. Their visionary spirit continues to inspire the work performed at the University of Chicago. Its scholarship is marked by a willingness to challenge conventional thinking and a desire to explore uncharted territory. As a result, the University has always been on the leading edge of discovery. Rockefeller proudly called The University of Chicago "the best investment I ever made."
A leader in higher education, Chicago has earned a celebrated reputation as a "teacher of leaders." Currently 67 University of Chicago alumni hold faculty posts at business schools and universities internationally. More than 50 of its graduates are deans of leading business schools, and over 4,750 of its alumni are owners, CEOs, or top officers in firms worldwide.