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“We Will” Update

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in spring 2020, the University’s philanthropic community has responded by funding high-impact research and providing resources to help students learn remotely and return to campus. Donor support has been crucial to the continuation of Northwestern’s research and teaching missions.

Learn more about this support

wwu mask on campus
Austin J. Waldron partnered with the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences to create and endow the Waldron Student-Alumni Connections Program, which connects undergraduates with alumni in various fields and across different stages of their careers.

Read about the program

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Researchers at Northwestern and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab have developed a novel wearable device and custom data algorithms to catch early signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19 and to monitor patients as the illness progresses. It measures and interprets coughing, respiratory activity, heart rate and body temperature to uncover subtle but potentially lifesaving insights.

Read more about the wearable device

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When Northwestern researchers Chad Mirkin and David Walker ’14 PhD heard about the PPE shortage, their team sprang into action. They used a new 3D-printing technique they invented called “high-area rapid printing,” or HARP, to produce face shields at high volumes.

Read more about the 3D technology

3D printing
To help reinvent the struggling industry, in 2018 the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications launched the Local News Initiative — a research and development project designed to improve audience engagement and strengthen business models. Alumni and industry leaders have stepped up to fund LNI’s reporting, data and research, which is conducted by students and faculty.

Read more about the Local News Initiative

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In mid-March the University’s financial aid team began receiving a plethora of requests from undergraduate, graduate and professional school students in need of emergency financial assistance. Many needed help with unexpected travel costs, while the majority sought assistance to upgrade computers, internet service or other technology for remote learning.

Read more about the University's financial assistance

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In 2017 Howard Trienens gave $20 million to transform Trienens Hall, the indoor turf field he helped fund with a leadership gift in 1996, into a world-class developmental facility for Wildcats volleyball, baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s basketball teams. Northwestern Athletics and Recreation celebrated Trienens’ decades of service to and support for Northwestern at the November 2019 dedication.

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Trienens Performance Center Volleyball Court
If you live in the United Kingdom, you now have the opportunity to make tax-efficient gifts to the recently established Northwestern University (USA) Foundation Limited — an officially registered charity in England and Wales.

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Greg Berlanti, a writer, producer and director and 1994 School of Communication alumnus, and his husband, former professional soccer player Robbie Rogers, recently made a $2 million gift to the school via the Berlanti Family Foundation. The gift will endow a professorship and help expand opportunities for students interested in writing for the screen and stage.

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Greg Berlanti
The Northwestern golf community celebrated the generosity of University Trustee Eric Gleacher ’62 and his wife, Paula, at the November 2019 dedication of the newly renovated Gleacher Golf Center — a premier player development facility for student-athletes.

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Eric Gleacher