Money manager John P. Calamos Sr. wants to encourage the architecture, engineering, business and science students at his alma mater, Illinois Institute of Technology, to spend more time thinking about something other than math. To that end, he has pledged $2.5 million to endow a new chair of philosophy at the Chicago-based research university.
The philosophy courses Mr. Calamos took while earning a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in finance from IIT “really taught me how to think. In this highly technical age, we forget to think about things deeply enough,” he said in an interview.
Mr. Calamos is CEO and co-chief investment officer of Calamos Asset Management Inc., Naperville, Ill. The firm managed $31.8 billion as of Sept. 30.
Mr. Calamos gave an additional $2.5 million to endow a chair for the dean of the business school, said Betsy Hughes, vice president-institutional development for the university.
“The idea of the Calamos chair for the dean of the business school will carry a great deal of weight in the business world,” she said.
“I'm a bit concerned about educational trends in the U.S.,” Mr. Calamos said in an interview, adding that he hopes that his gift to support philosophy will result in more well-rounded students of technical subject areas.
Mr. Calamos has pledged a total gift of $10 million to IIT. The specific use for the $5 million balance of the gift is still being determined, although Mr. Calamos may designate the funds for scholarship, Ms. Hughes said.