Chicago Convenes to celebrate campaign’s supportersBy William Harms
As the University’s Chicago Initiative continues to make successful strides toward raising $2 billion—having reached the $1.5 billion mark earlier this month—the University is preparing to thank those whose gifts have provided momentum and pushed the campaign closer to its goal.
On Friday, May 5, about 500 of those supporters will be invited to campus for the fourth Chicago Convenes event. The day of festivities honors and celebrates the generosity of those who have contributed to the progress of the Chicago Initiative. Chicago Convenes also showcases the intellectual vitality and the architectural beauty of the University, with faculty members offering classes and seminars and sharing their latest research, and with behind-the-scenes tours of new campus facilities.
A highlight of the festivities comes during a dinner in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, where the University’s most prestigious medal, the University of Chicago Medal, will be bestowed on Life Trustee Edgar Jannotta. Jannotta was Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2003, and he served as Chairman of the Chicago Initiative from 2000 to 2005.
At Chicago Convenes 2005, Jannotta passed on his chairmanship of the initiative to Andrew Alper (A.B.,’80, M.B.A.,’81)), Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Chairman of William Blair & Co. L.L.C., Jannotta joined the University Board of Trustees in 1984.
“I like to think of the University of Chicago as the city’s flagship cultural and philanthropic institution,” he said. “As a world-class university, we add importantly to the image of the city.”
As Chair of the Chicago Initiative, Jannotta spearheaded efforts to engage University Trustees in unprecedented ways, resulting in board member contributions of over $260 million.
Together with his wife of 50 years, Deborah, Jannotta also has made generous contributions during the campaign, including gifts for a professorship, undergraduate scholarships, the Graduate School of Business, the France-Chicago Center, the Annual Fund and the Oriental Institute, where the Edgar and Deborah Jannotta Mesopotamian Gallery is named in their honor.
In 2005, Jannotta joined with a small group of University Trustees to issue the Trustee Scholarship Challenge, a $17 million matching fund for endowed College scholarships, which already has inspired gifts from 128 participating alumni and friends.
In addition to honoring Jannotta at the dinner, James Crown, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Alper will induct new members into the Harper Society Founders Circle, a group that honors alumni, friends, corporations and foundations that have made lifetime gifts to the University of $1 million or more.