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Alumnus Gary Gorman Endows $1 Million Faculty Chair to Lead Innovative New Affordable Housing and Sustainable Development Track

By Lee Gottschalk

April 19, 2022

Exterior view of the School of Business
Grainger Hall

We are pleased to announce that longtime UW-Madison supporter and alumnus Gary Gorman, Chairman of the Board of Gorman & Company, has committed $1 million to endow a new faculty position within the Department of Real Estate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Endowed chairs are one of the most meaningful ways of attracting new faculty and rewarding faculty whose excellence merits the distinction and the title. 

Gary Gorman obtained his B.A. in Economics and Law Degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He began his career as a practicing attorney focusing on representing developers and real estate syndicators. In 1984, he formed Gorman & Company to develop multifamily real estate projects. After the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, Gorman decided to specialize in developing affordable multifamily rental communities using the tax credit created by Section 42 of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Gorman & Company developed some of the earliest Section 42 LIHTC developments in the nation. 

As Gorman reflected on his motivation for endowing the new chair, he said, “I have very long ties to the UW-Madison both as an undergraduate and law school alum.  I took a class from Jim Graaskamp when I was in law school, which was part of what sparked my interest in real estate.  I was asked by Department Chair Tim Riddiough to teach a class on affordable housing this past fall and I really enjoyed it.   Endowing the new professorship just seemed like a logical way to contribute back to the school that helped start my career,” explained Gorman.

Christopher Timmons, currently a Professor of Economics at Duke University, with a secondary appointment in Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, will be the first recipient of the endowed Professorship.  Timmins is a Stanford University-trained faculty and will serve as new Academic Director of the Graaskamp Center’s innovative graduate track in Affordable Housing and Sustainable Development, which will be launched in Fall 2024.

“We are deeply appreciative of the generosity and vision of Gary Gorman” said Timothy Riddiough, Department Chair. “This endowed chair will enable us continue to build our world-class faculty and Center. A rapidly developing world faces major challenges — from climate change to economic inequality. This creates a need to train professionals who have a deeper knowledge not only of the mechanics of real estate, but also how development can bring positive benefits to society, including the natural and built environment.”

The Wisconsin Real Estate Program, currently the #1 ranked public real estate program in the world by US News & World Report, is strong today and will be strong tomorrow because of the involvement and support of these dedicated alumni and industry leaders like Gary Gorman.