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Gift Aims to Keep Milton Friedman’s Ideas Alive

James G. Rosenbaum (’84 BBA-Finance) says his respect for the struggles and successes of his immigrant grandparents and his belief in the lifelong work of economist and Nobel Prize laureate Milton Friedman led him to establish the James G. Rosenbaum ’84 Broad Horizons Fund at UWM.

The fund aims to broaden the economic and political landscape on campus by enabling students to attend meetings and events in which they are exposed to the thinking of Milton Friedman and similar economists and journalists.

Rosenbaum first became aware of Milton Friedman as a child during the 1964 presidential campaigns when Friedman was an advisor to Barry Goldwater. His parents were dismayed by Friedman’s support of market-based economics, but conceded that he was a well-respected economist at University of Chicago, his mother’s alma mater.

“Though not typically a rebellious child,” he says, “my curiosity was piqued.”

Rosenbaum was especially interested in the history and socio-economic perspective discussed in Milton and Rose Friedman’s book Free to Choose, a detailed examination of how market-based resource allocation, consumer choice, and minimalist government can produce prosperity.

“My donation to UWM is intended to help maintain interest in his school of thought,” he says.

Grauben Lara (’20 BBA-Marketing and BA-Psychology) was one of the first beneficiaries of a Broad Horizons Travel Grant, using it to travel to Washington, D.C. last summer for an internship with the non-profit Young Voices.

“It opened my eyes to the world of policy and new ways of helping people around me. I was also able to develop my skillset, become more of a social entrepreneur, and connect with a range of widely talented people,” he says. He considers those contacts as friends and potential collaborators on future projects related to breaking barriers for underrepresented communities.

He now works as a producer at George Mason University’s Mercatus, which has a mission to generate knowledge and understanding of the institutions that affect the freedom to prosper, and to find sustainable solutions that overcome the barriers preventing individuals from living free, prosperous, and peaceful lives.

Next summer, the fund will sponsor six UWM business and economics students to visit Capitaf, Milton and Rose Friedman’s summer home in Vermont, where they will consider how to apply Friedman’s insights to the challenges of today’s world.

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