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A Message from SLU's President

Dear Members of the SLU Community,

I write to share exciting news about the continued generosity of a distinguished SLU alumnus and his family, which directly advances our strategic initiatives related to innovation, entrepreneurship, academic excellence and research

Every gift SLU receives helps all students, faculty, clinicians, and staff in some form. However, this gift dramatically propels the University forward. The positive impact is immediate, and the effects are long-lasting. Thanks to SLU alumnus, trustee, and benefactor Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz and his wife Jill Chaifetz, the University has been blessed with a remarkable opportunity and cause for celebration.

Richard Chaifetz
Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz

I am delighted to announce that Richard and Jill Chaifetz have made an additional gift of $15 million to our business education programs, bringing their total contribution to the University to $27 million.

In honor of this gift and his long-standing commitment to SLU, I am pleased to announce that, effective immediately, our school of business will be named the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business. We are also proud to name the entrepreneurship center the Chaifetz Chaifetz Center for Entrepreneurship. The honor of having Dr. Chaifetz’s name on the school and center will benefit student recruitment, fundraising and national recognition.

As you are all aware, Richard and Jill’s $12 million gift to the Chaifetz Arena project made our outstanding arena possible.

Saint Louis University was able to offer the school naming to Dr. Chaifetz after alumnus and former trustee John Cook, for whom the school had been named since 2000, agreed to make the naming of the business school available to other benefactors to encourage a large gift to the school. As a result, in late 2017, when we talked to Richard and Jill about making a large gift to support our business programs, I was delighted to be able to honor them with this naming.

This new gift is intended to grow SLU’s nationally-ranked entrepreneurship center, provide resources for other business programs, and enhance the national reputation of the school. This gift illustrates Dr. Chaifetz’s immense pride in the education we provide to our students.

Dr. Chaifetz is a magna cum laude graduate in psychology of the SLU class of 1975.

He is a world-renowned entrepreneur and businessman who founded ComPsych Corporation, now the world’s largest provider of employee assistance programs, in 1984. He remains Founder, Chairman and CEO.  He is also the Founder and Chairman of the private investment firm Chaifetz Group, which provides capital for venture, growth equity and acquisitions.  In addition to his companies, Chaifetz has served on the board of directors, as well as an advisor, to several public and private corporations which currently include Pixel Press, Save Wave Energy, Kennet Partners and Vistria Group.  He is on the board of trustees of The Field Museum of Natural History, Saint Louis University, TCS Education System, the Miami University Foundation Board, the Brain Research Foundation and the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.  In 2007, he was named Saint Louis University’s Alumni of the Year and was inducted into the University’s Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame.  He was awarded The Brain Research Foundation’s 2014 Frederic A. Gibbs Discovery Award in Philanthropy.  In 2017, he also received the Illinois Holocaust Museum’s Humanitarian Award.

I wish to thank Vice President for Development Sheila Manion, and Dean Mark Higgins, Ph.D., for their extraordinary collaboration in making this exciting gift possible. Richard and Jill’s son Ross Chaifetz also deserves our appreciation. His engagement and support are invaluable to us and ensure the Chaifetz family’s future dedication to SLU.

On Thursday, Feb. 22, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., we invite students, faculty and staff, and community business leaders, to join us in the atrium of the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business to meet Richard and to hear more about his commitment to the school and business education. Later this year, we will have a formal naming dedication for the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business.

Please join me in thanking Richard and Jill Chaifetz. Their dedication and commitment to SLU make us both humble and proud. Their continued generosity will be felt by many generations of business students who, like Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, will go on to do great things in their communities and the world.


Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.