Jan. 8, 1998
Vol. 17, No. 7

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    BSLC named in honor of Donnelleys

    The Biological Sciences Learning Center has been named in honor of Dorothy and Gaylord Donnelley, who for 50 years have been among the University's most significant supporters.

    Gifts from the Donnelleys to the University over the past half-century total more than $25 million, including those received from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation after Mr. Donnelley's death in 1992. The Donnelley family's involvement with the University runs through four generations.

    President Sonnenschein noted that many of the Donnelley gifts were made with specific requests for anonymity or with little public fanfare.

    "The time has come to recognize in a significant way the extraordinary contributions made by this remarkable family over a century of involvement with the University of Chicago," Sonnenschein said. "Only a few families -- the Rockefellers and the Swifts among them -- have had such an especially close, multi-generational relationship with the University. The gifts, the energy, and the dedication of Dorothy and Gaylord and of their forebears and descendants have benefited the University in countless ways. I am extremely pleased that we can acknowledge their good works in this way."

    The Donnelleys have supported virtually every part of the University, including the College, the Humanities, the Medical Center, the Library, Court Theatre, the Smart Museum of Art and the Divinity School. During the Campaign for the Next Century, the Donnelley family created a multimillion dollar challenge fund to encourage other donors to endow scholarships to help undergraduate students attend the University.

    Gaylord's grandfather, Richard R. Donnelley, founder of the R. R. Donnelley & Sons printing firm, began the family's tradition of service to the University when he served as Treasurer of the University of Chicago Press. Thomas Donnelley, Gaylord's father, was a University Trustee from 1909 until 1938, and Gaylord Donnelley was a Trustee from 1947 until his death in 1992. Dorothy Donnelley is a member of the Women's Board.

    Dorothy and Gaylord Donnelley's son, Strachan, is a University Trustee and president of the Hastings Center, an independent research and education institute that often collaborates with University faculty on projects in biomedical ethics and the environment. Gaylord's nephew James Donnelley (M.B.A.'62) is on the Visiting Committee to the Library, and James' wife, Nina Donnelley, serves on the Women's Board and the Visiting Committee to the Divinity School. Dorothy's nephew George Ranney Jr. (J.D.'66) is a Trustee, and her brother, George Ranney, is a Life Trustee.

    The Dorothy and Gaylord Donnelley Biological Sciences Learning Center, which opened in October 1993 after five years of planning, is the fulfillment of Chicago's mission to develop a unique, high-tech "one-room schoolhouse" for teaching and research in biology. The facility is used to educate undergraduate and graduate students at all levels in biology and medicine and to encourage interdisciplinary approaches to biological and medical study.

    The Dorothy and Gaylord Donnelley Biological Sciences Learning Center adjoins the Jules F. Knapp Medical Research Building. The Knapp Research Building houses the Institute for Molecular Medicine, a research organization composed of five centers that unite biochemists, cellular and molecular biologists, geneticists and immunologists.

    At 228,693 square feet and five stories, the Donnelley Learning Center and Knapp Research Building constitute the second largest building complex on campus.