Odyssey was established in 2007 through a transformative gift from a UChicago graduate. The anonymous benefactor, dubbed Homer, funded annual costs while gifts from alumni and friends created an endowment to underwrite the program on a permanent basis.
In 2016, the generosity of Harriet Heyman, AM'72, and her husband, Sir Michael Moritz, enabled an expansion of Odyssey's scholarships, internships, and college preparation through the Odyssey Scholarship Program.
In making their gifts, both Homer and Heyman and Moritz hoped to inspire the UChicago community to support future University of Chicago Odyssey scholars, challenging them to match their support. In both cases, inspired alumni, family, and friends rose to that challenge.