The dreaded 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. classes slotted on Wednesday nights will be canceled on Oct. 9. No, your professors won’t be traveling to a conference or canceling class for health reasons, but rather former President George W. Bush will be visiting campus.
At 6:30 p.m. that evening, Bush will be joined by about 400 guests in the Harold Hutton Sports Center for a commemorative event honoring Julianne and George Argyros and the 20th anniversary of the business school’s naming.
With a price tag starting at $5,000 a ticket, the event will also serve as a fundraiser for the Argyros School of Business and Economics. As of publication, no members of the press will be permitted at the event.
George Argyros graduated from Chapman in 1959 with a degree in business and economics. After a career in real estate and sports endeavors (he owned the Seattle Mariners from 1981 to 1989), Argyros served as ambassador to Spain and Angola during the George W. Bush administration. A longtime colleague of the Bush family, Argyros also had a role in the George H. W. Bush administration as a member of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation board.
“George Argyros is a leader in his community who has been active in numerous civic, cultural, and philanthropic organizations,” said then-President Bush on Argyros’ appointment as ambassador. “His experience in trade policy and foreign affairs, as well as his interest in education and the arts, will make him an excellent Ambassador to Spain.”
George and Julianne are the namesake of the business school, main campus building Argyros Forum and the main campus fitness center. George Argyros served as the chairman of Chapman’s Board of Trustees from 1976 until 2001 and is worth approximately $2.6 billion, according to Forbes. Chapman’s business school, although in its 45th year of operation, was named after Argyros 20 years ago.
Chapman’s business school is currently ranked 85th in the U.S., according to U.S. News and World Report. The anniversary event will serve as a kickoff of Chapman’s new campaign, “50 for 50,” with the goal of not only doubling the business school’s endowment, but to “propel the Argyros School into the ranks of the nation’s most elite business schools,” according to the event’s flyer. The business school’s current endowment stands at just under $49 million.
Attendees of the event have fallen under three different categories based on the amount of money donated: Platinum Sponsor (donating $100,000), Gold Sponsor (donating $50,000) and single ticket ($5,000). Businesses interested in placing an advertisement in the dinner program paid $2,500.
All proceeds will go to the business school endowment and student scholarships, according to the event flyer. Donors can expect to see the money go to “enhancements to curriculum” and “new degree programs in finance and real estate.”
Tom Turk, dean of the business school, told The Panther that Julianne Argyros will interview President Bush during the event in place of a speech. The event will also include a served dinner.