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Donor Gifts Honor President Schapiro’s Legacy

Alumni and friends are recognizing the president’s service to Northwestern through their philanthropy.

morty gifts main dorm room
The residence hall at 560 Lincoln Street in Evanston will be named Schapiro Hall later this year.Image: Jim Prisching

Spring 2022

In just a few months, Morton Schapiro will step down as president of Northwestern after 13 years at the helm. During President Schapiro’s tenure, the Evanston and Chicago campuses were transformed by more than 50 major construction projects and the creation of 17 new research institutes and centers. One of the most successful fundraising campaigns in the history of higher education, We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern stands among his greatest accomplishments. (Read more about Schapiro’s presidency.) 

In recognition of the president’s dedicated service to and impact on Northwestern, alumni and friends have made gifts toward several areas of the University in his honor.  

Under President Schapiro’s leadership, Northwestern made a strategic commitment to enhance the student experience by creating campus community. The University opened a new student residence hall at 560 Lincoln Street as part of this effort. Now, in honor of President Schapiro and his wife, Mimi, and their exemplary support for undergraduates, Northwestern will name the building Schapiro Hall.  

More than 60 trustees and their families have contributed to fundraising for the residence hall, led by Board of Trustees Chair Lanny Martin ’68, ’73 JD. The gifts will fund the maintenance and renovation of common spaces and programs for the building’s residents.  

“For Morty, students have always come first,” Martin says. “Throughout his tenure, he continued to teach several undergraduate courses, and he and Mimi hosted more than 10,000 students at their home for dinner. Naming Schapiro Hall in their honor is a fitting tribute.”   

Students gather annually to celebrate Hanukkah at Northwestern Hillel.

Students gather annually to celebrate Hanukkah at Northwestern Hillel. Image: Jeff Sciortino

The Schapiros also are known for their enthusiastic support for Jewish student life on campus. Because of this, Jonathan and Patti Kraft made a gift to name the Schapiro Executive Director of Northwestern Hillel position in their honor. Michael Simon, who became executive director of Northwestern Hillel in 2010, is the inaugural holder of the named position.  

“By providing Jewish and non-Jewish students alike with opportunities to learn about and celebrate Jewish heritage, Northwestern Hillel epitomizes what has been so special about Morty’s leadership,” Jonathan Kraft says. “Patti and I are honored that Morty and Mimi allowed us to recognize their legacy with this gift.”  

Carol ’64 and Larry Levy ’66, ’67 MBA also decided to honor President Schapiro with a gift benefiting students — specifically, entrepreneurs at the Kellogg School of Management. The Levys’ support will complement the work of the Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice, which the couple established, and enhance students’ personalized journeys by providing funding for career treks and apprenticeships. The gift will bolster the development of Kellogg’s founder-centered approach under David Schonthal ’09 MBA, director of the Levy Institute.   

David Schonthal helps student entrepreneurs successfully launch or acquire new businesses.

David Schonthal helps student entrepreneurs successfully launch or acquire new businesses. Image: Jeff Sciortino

“Carol and I are delighted to celebrate President Schapiro’s remarkable impact and dedication to the student experience by making this gift to create new, hands-on programming that is so important to our students’ entrepreneurial growth,” Larry Levy says.  

Other families have made generous gifts to the University in honor of President Schapiro as well.  

Underscoring President Schapiro’s commitment to financial aid and research, the Melchiorre family contributed to the Celeste Lizio Endowed Scholarship Fund, created the Melchiorre CFAAR Endowed Fund to advance research and education in the Center for Food Allergy & Asthma Research at Feinberg School of Medicine, and gave to the Morton and Mimi Schapiro Endowed Fund.   

And in recognition of President Schapiro’s dedication to the student-athlete experience, Trustee Eric Gleacher ’62 and Paula Gleacher created an endowed fund to ensure the competitive excellence of Northwestern Athletics’ golf programs.  

It is President Schapiro’s legacy as an economist and educator that inspired the Patrick G. ’59, ’09 H and Shirley W. Ryan ’61, ’19 H Family to make their most recent gift to the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. The Ryan Family’s support for the Center for Applied Economics will allow the University to expand its leadership in research and education in this critical field of study by fueling the recruitment and retention of top scholars and funding best-in-class data research teams. The center will be named in President Schapiro’s honor.  

“Northwestern strives to be excellent in everything that it does, and our economics programs are a shining example, with world-renowned economists like Morty himself conducting research and educating the next generation,” Pat Ryan says. “Our family is grateful for the Schapiros’ many contributions to Northwestern, which have helped the University to lead in a number of areas.” 

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