Greek-American Businessman & Philanthropist John P. Calamos, Sr.’s gift created IIT’s 1st Endowed Philosophy Chair. Find out why he believes it’s important.
John & Mae Calamos Give Back to IIT
John P. Calamos, Sr., Greek-American Founder, Chairman, and Global Chief Investment Officer of Calamos Investments, and his wife, Mae, have left their mark at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). Back in 2011, the couple, well-known for their philanthropic endeavors, donated $10 million to Mr. Calamos’ alma mater, to establish two new endowed chairs — Dean Endowed Chair at Illinois Tech’s Stuart School of Business, and the school’s very first Endowed Philosophy Chair. The gifts, made through the John P. Calamos Sr. Foundation, are among the largest alumni contributions in the history of the school. For Mr. Calamos, it was a meaningful way to give back to the school that shaped him and prepared him for his successful career. He attended IIT’s Stuart School of Business, where he earned a BS in Economics in 1963 and an MBA in Finance in 1970. In 2016, the distinguished John F.O. Bilson, PhD was named the first John and Mae Calamos Dean Endowed Chair at Illinois Tech’s Stuart School of Business.
Now, reasons to endow a Chair in the business school are obvious, but a Philosophy Chair? In a statement, Mr. Calamos revealed the reasons why he believes this is so important.
“I have often been asked ‘Why did you endow a chair in Philosophy?’ When I was a student at IIT, studying architecture and later switching to finance, learning the skills of critical thinking really changed my whole view of the world. Looking back, my education was critical to my success over the years. My introduction to philosophy taught me how to question assumptions and that stayed with me all of my life. It is important to me to know that future students in the business school will learn how much philosophy can make a difference in all they do.”
1st Endowed Philosophy Chair invested
On March 27, 2018, IIT announced that J.D. Trout, PhD, a distinguished professor of Philosophy and Psychology from the Loyola University in Chicago was invested as the first John and Mae Calamos Endowed Chair in Philosophy.
Dr. Trout’s research interests include the philosophy of science, epistemology, and cognitive science. The Ohio native has published 7 books, including Wondrous Truths: The Improbable Triumph of Modern Science, which uses evidence from neuroscience, psychology. and history to explain the rapid rise of Western science.
He’s held visiting positions at many prestigious universities, including University of Chicago, University of Helsinki, University of Pittsburgh, and University of Innsbruck. Dr. Trout received his Ph.D. in 1998 from Cornell University, in philosophy and cognitive science. He’s widely published and earned numerous accolades. The John & Mae Calamos Philosophy Chair is part of the Lewis College of Human Sciences.
Now with 4 campuses in the Chicago area, IIT was formed in 1940 by the merger of Armour Institute and Lewis Institute. The private, technology-focused research university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law. It offers “exceptional preparation for professions that require technological sophistication, an innovative mindset, and an entrepreneurial spirit.”
About Calamos Investments
Established in 1977, Calamos Investments is a diversified global investment firm offering innovative investment strategies including U.S. growth equity, global equity, convertible, fixed income, multi-asset and alternatives. Headquartered in the Chicago metropolitan area, the firm, which also has offices in London, New York, San Francisco, and the Miami area, offers strategies through separately managed portfolios, mutual funds, closed-end funds, private funds, and UCITS funds. Clients include major corporations, pension funds, endowments, foundations and individuals, as well as the financial advisors and consultants who serve them.
About John Calamos
Mr. Calamos, a Chicago native, grew up on the city’s West Side. His entrepreneurial spirit was kindled by his immigrant parents who owned and operated a grocery store, where he worked as a young man. Mr. Calamos is a proud Greek-American, who serves the Greek community in various capacities. He is an Archon Eftaxias of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Order of St. Andrew the Apostle. In addition to the many boards on which he serves, he is also the Chairman of the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago. Along with Mrs. Calamos, he continues to support the Greek community – worldwide – as well as many other worthy causes.