$1 million gift helps renovate Reynolds Clubs Thanks in part to a $1 million gift from the Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation, one of Chicago's oldest philanthropic organizations, Reynolds Club has been restored to better serve its original purpose as a student meeting place -- complete with comfortable lounges and inviting fireplaces.
"We are very grateful to the foundation for its support of our efforts to improve student life at the University," said President Sonnenschein. "This gift will help make the Reynolds Club a hub of activity and excitement on our campus."
"The McCormick Tribune Foundation is pleased to award this grant for the renovation of Reynolds Club," said Neal Creighton, president and CEO of the McCormick Tribune Foundation. "The quality of student life is an important aspect of the experience of students attending an institution as prestigious as the University of Chicago. We are happy that we can contribute to an environment which encourages and nurtures social relationships likely to be lifelong."
The first floor of Reynolds Club features a completely renovated north lounge, which is now a student reading room with new furniture, computer jacks for laptops and a selection of newspapers from around the country. The first-floor hallway is a student marketplace, with tables where student groups can promote their organizations and hold such fundraisers as T-shirt and poster sales. The University box office has been moved closer to the renovated entrance to Mandel Hall.
On the second floor is a student lounge and game room in the space formerly occupied by Career & Placement Services, which has moved to Ida Noyes Hall. This lounge includes pool tables and cable TV and will be the future site of a student-run coffee shop. A smaller lounge is available for meetings and discussions, and future plans include an outdoor deck.
The third floor remains the center of University Theater activity, with some renovated theater offices. The basement houses the College mailroom as well as office space and fax and photocopy machines for student groups, ATMs, piano practice rooms and the Student Organization Computer/Graphics Center, which has several new Macintosh computers.
"The goal of the renovation is to create a space that students feel is truly their own, as well as one that offers students a great place to socialize at night. Judging by the number of students who already have made Reynolds Club a regular meeting place, I'd say we're accomplishing that goal," said Bill Michel, newly appointed Director of Reynolds Club and a 1992 graduate of the College. The building is open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.
The building, which originally opened in 1903, was built with a gift from the estate of Joseph Reynolds, in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds' only son. The clubhouse originally served as a social center for male students and also housed offices of such men's organizations as the Blackfriars, which annually produced an all-male musical comedy. Offices of other student organizations were moved into Reynolds Club and the club was opened to women during World War II.
The McCormick Tribune Foundation has made numerous gifts to the University, including a $1 million grant to fund a theater-style lecture hall at the Downtown Center, funds to build the archway that connects Stuart and Rosenwald halls, an endowment for the business and economics collections of the Library, and endowments to establish the Robert R. McCormick Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Enrico Fermi Institute and the Robert R. McCormick Professorship in the Graduate School of Business.