Meet the Brothers Who Endowed an MBA Program for Veterans and Active Duty Students

About a half a year after the University of Chicago Booth School of Business alumnus Eric Gleacher gave $10 million to fund scholarships for veterans seeking an MBA, New York University’s Stern School of Business recently announced $15 million endowment gift from alumnus Lorenzo Fertitta and brother Frank J. Fertitta III. 

The gift will create the Fertitta Veterans Program exclusively for U.S. military veteran and active duty students entering the school’s MBA program next year. What's more, the estimated 20 incoming students will receive scholarship support that reduces their tuition to a flat $30,000 per year. (For those keeping track at home, Stern tuition and fees for a nine-month academic year in 2016-2017 is $66,588.)

Furthermore, much like the Walmart Foundation's $2.6 million give to veteran organizations for job placement programs and the Lockheed Martin-funded national network for veteran entrepreneurs, the program will provide academic and professional support to ease the transition from the military to business school and the business world. 

The gift builds upon an impressive veterans support infrastructure at the school, which includes the Military Veterans Club, an "active and tight-knit community of MBA student support." This fall Stern enrolled the highest number of incoming military students to its full-time MBA program on record.

All of which brings us back to the Fertitta brothers. 

Frank, whose net worth stands at $1.96 billion, is the current CEO of Las Vegas-based Station Casinos. He is also an owner of Zuffa LLC, the entity that ran the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). (More on that in a second.) In October of 2012, he and his wife Jill made a major gift to his alma mater, the University of Southern California, to fund the construction of a new building for the USC Marshall School of Business and the establishment of the Jill and Frank Fertitta Endowed Chair in Business.

Lorenzo, meanwhile, is an entrepreneur, casino executive, and sports promoter. Collectively the Fertitta family has supported various military causes including Veterans Village, the Fisher House Foundation, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, and the Wounded Warriors Project.

“My brother Frank and I have always been committed to assisting those who have proudly served our country and hope our gift encourages many of our military veterans to earn their MBA from my alma mater,” said Lorenzo.

Keep an eye on the Fertitta Brothers' giving moving forward, as it seems like they have a lot of cash lying around. According to Forbes, after purchasing UFC for a paltry $2 million fifteen years ago, Frank and Lorenzo sold the organization for $4 billion in August to an investment group led by sports marketing agents WME/IMG.

(And in case you're wondering, yes, the recently profiled philanthropist Tilman Joseph Fertitta is the third cousin of Lorenzo and Frank.)