Over the course of their long association with Northwestern, Patrick and Shirley Ryan have become the University's most generous benefactors.

Several recent gifts have fueled the momentum of We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, helping Northwestern solidify its position among the world's leading research universities.

  • Mitchell '63, '64 MBA, '68 PhD and Valerie Slotnick '93 P, longtime supporters of Northwestern athletics, have made a major gift to Athletics and Recreation. In recognition of the family’s generosity, Northwestern will name the atrium of Ryan Fieldhouse the Mitchell and Valerie Slotnick Family Atrium. In addition to helping to fund the new athletics and recreation complex, the Slotnicks’ gift will support sports performance, football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, golf and the Wildcat Excellence Fund, an unrestricted athletics fund that supports the areas of greatest need.


  • Dennis H. Chookaszian '65 and his wife, Karen '02 P, have made a major gift commitment to establish the Chookaszian Family Program in Computer Science, the first of its kind at Northwestern. The program will support initiatives to grow and strengthen the computer science program at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and help provide courses to all interested undergraduate students. Dennis Chookaszian serves as a Life Trustee at Northwestern and is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at Kellogg, the McCormick Advisory Council and the Northwestern Memorial Foundation’s board of directors. In 2014, he received the Alumni Medal, the highest distinction awarded by the Northwestern Alumni Association to alumni.


  • Patrick G. '59, '09 H and Shirley W. Ryan '61, '97 P, '00 P have made a new major gift commitment to advance research and teaching at Northwestern. A portion of the gift will be used to accelerate the creation of endowed professorships across the University. Over the course of their long association with Northwestern, the Ryans have become the University’s most generous benefactors, having provided leadership and support for academic programs, scholarships, the construction of Northwestern’s Nanotechnology Center, support for Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine and renovation of Northwestern’s football and basketball stadiums. The Ryans serve as co-chairs for major gifts for the "We Will" Campaign, and Patrick Ryan is a Life Trustee at Northwestern.


  • A major gift from Jean Gimbel Lane '52 to the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music will ensure the perpetuity of a prestigious piano award named in her honor. The Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance honors pianists who have achieved the highest levels of national and international recognition. The renowned pianists complete residencies at Northwestern, where they perform and present master classes, lectures and chamber music coaching sessions. In recognition of her longtime support, Northwestern will name a room in the new Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts the Jean Gimbel Lane Reception Room.


  • Holly '62 and John Madigan have made a major gift to The Daily Northwestern in response to the paper’s ongoing fundraising effort, The Campaign for The Future of The Daily Northwestern. The gift includes a $250,000 challenge grant that will match, dollar for dollar, additional gifts to The Daily’s campaign. Holly Madigan is a director and the former chairwoman of the Family Institute at Northwestern and a member of the Northwestern Women’s Board. John Madigan is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Tribune Company and a Life Trustee and Northwestern. In gratitude, The Daily’s newsroom is being renamed the Holly and John Madigan Newsroom.


To learn more about the "We Will" Campaign, go to wewill.northwestern.edu.