Sinquefields’ Gift to Support Institute Visitors

A generous gift from Rex A. and Dr. Jeanne C. Sinquefield will create opportunities for top economic researchers to visit the University of Chicago Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics, sharing and sharpening their work during their stay.

The St. Louis couple—both alumni of the university—have pledged an endowment of $1.5 million that will support Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield Visiting Researchers. The institute plans to name the first visitors to the posts in 2016, and will ultimately host several Sinquefield visitors each year.

From promising young professors to eminent senior scholars, economists and researchers in related fields benefit from the chance to visit the institute, where they collaborate and focus on their work in UChicago’s stimulating climate of discussion and debate. In turn, these visitors enhance that community with their fresh intellectual approaches and perspectives.

“The Becker Friedman Institute has built a reputation as an intellectual destination for those engaged in serious economic inquiry. Our visitors tell us they value the atmosphere and feedback they receive here, ” said Lars Peter Hansen, institute director and co-chair. “We’re grateful for this gift that will sustain and expand this program.”

Rex Sinquefield noted, “Sometimes a brief change of pace and immersion in a congenial environment can inspire fresh perspectives. And the vibrant University of Chicago economics community, where ideas are tested and challenged, is the perfect place for that. Jeanne and I are pleased to provide this opportunity and support solid research.”

Researchers also contribute to the campus community during their visit. They present at ongoing workshops or topical institute research conferences and give lectures for students. “The visitors program provides visitors exposure to the unique Chicago Economics and is a great way of bringing a broader range of insights to researchers and students,” noted Kevin Murphy, co-chair of the institute.

The Sinquefields, both dedicated alumni, have supported the University of Chicago in many ways. Rex Sinquefield earned his MBA at the University in 1972. He cofounded Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) using investment strategies based on the research of his professor, Eugene Fama, currently the Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Service Professor of Finance. His wife Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield earned an MBA in 1979 and PhD in demography in 1972 at the University. She was Executive Vice President and Head of Trading at DFA.

In their retirement, the couple is active in philanthropy, supporting a wide variety of youth, arts and education initiatives throughout Missouri. They are making a significant impact through their commitments to making Missouri a worldwide mecca for music composition and chess. They founded the Show-Me Institute, a St. Louis-based free-market public policy research institute that focuses on state and local issues, including education and tax reform.