has announced a $25 million gift from alumni Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan to advance research and teaching and accelerate the creation of endowed professorships at the university.
The gift includes $10 million to establish the Ryan Family Chair Challenge, which will match gifts made by other donors to establish new endowed professorships across a range of disciplines, including biomedical science, nanoscience, energy and sustainability, electrical engineering and computer science, global health, East Asian studies, the performing arts, and writing and oral expression. The terms of challenge allow the university's provost to determine the match ratio on a case-by-case basis.
Uses for the remaining $15 million have not yet been determined. The Ryans, who are co-chairing the university's $3.75 billion fundraising campaign, have committed nearly $200 million to the university, including more than $100 million to the campaign.
A Northwestern trustee for more than fourteen years, Patrick Ryan graduated in 1959 from what is now the . He founded , a global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions, and led the company for forty-one years. He also founded , which he currently serves as CEO. Shirley Welsh Ryan, a 1961 graduate of the university, received her undergraduate degree from what is now the . A charter member of Northwestern’s Women’s Board, she is chair of , has been appointed by two presidents to the , and serves on the executive committee or the board of directors of the , the , the , and the .
"From undergraduate scholarships to graduate fellowships, from the arts to sciences to athletics, their extraordinary giving, both in terms of financial support and their personal involvement, has transformed Northwestern University at every level," said Northwestern president Morton Schapiro. "We are deeply grateful for this new, important gift and for their long-time support and leadership."