The has announced an eight-figure gift from Nancy W. Knowles to support work at its .
The gift — the amount of which has not been announced — was made as part of a capital campaign for the AbilityLab, a translational research hospital set to open in March 2017 that will enable clinicians, scientists, innovators, and technologists to work in the same space. Knowles' gift will be used specifically to support the hospital's Strength and Endurance Lab, a therapeutic space serving patients who require assessment of and therapy for complex motor and endurance issues. The gift also will fund an expansive outdoor green space adjacent to the building’s tenth floor Sky Lobby that will be known as "Nancy's Garden."
The daughter of an orthopedist, Knowles joined in Itasca, Illinois, which was founded by Hugh Knowles, to whom she was married from 1979 until his death in 1988, holding various roles in the company and ultimately serving as chair. Today, she serves as president and treasurer of the .
"Nancy is a remarkable woman who has always exhibited a generous spirit and unrelenting drive," said RIC president and CEO Joanne C. Smith. "Her wonderful gift will allow us to imbue this spirit in key spaces within the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, empowering and inspiring our patients, clinicians, and researchers alike."