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McCormick Foundation Donates $15 Million to Northwestern

Gift supports scholarships, medical research benefiting wounded warriors, Medill, Kellogg


EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University has received a gift of $15 million from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation to fund multiple initiatives, including undergraduate and graduate scholarships, launching an immersion journalism program focused on issues of social justice and advancing the field of reconstruction and restorative surgery to assist men and women seriously wounded in combat.

“The McCormick Foundation has long been one of Northwestern’s most important supporters,” said University President Morton Schapiro. “For Medill, this enduring partnership dates back to 1921, when Northwestern named its new journalism school for Robert R. McCormick’s grandfather, Joseph Medill. In 1989, the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science was named in honor of a generous commitment from the McCormick Foundation.”

“This gift reinforces the historic ties between the foundation and Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and its McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science,” said Dennis J. FitzSimons, chairman of the McCormick Foundation Board of Directors and a Northwestern Trustee. “We are very pleased to help support the next generation of scholars at Northwestern.”

The McCormick gift will be divided in the following ways:

• In keeping with the goals of Northwestern University’s strategic plan, the McCormick Foundation has allocated $2.5 million in undergraduate scholarships, including 12 to 15 full undergraduate scholarships. McCormick’s support will help Northwestern retain its long-standing commitment to need-blind admissions and need-based financial aid. The University stands out as one of the few institutions that have sustained a need-blind admissions policy under recent economic pressures.

• $2.5 million to the Kellogg Campaign will help make the Kellogg School of Management’s vision for a new “global hub” on the Evanston campus a reality. This 410,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art global headquarters is the physical manifestation of Kellogg’s strategy to reimagine management education for the 21st century. McCormick’s contribution will be recognized by naming the dean’s conference room and Skyline Terrace.

• $2.5 million will fund wound healing and transplantation programs at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Historically, wounded combat warriors returned home with lower extremity injuries. The increased use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), however, has made upper extremity injuries more common. The medical school and hospital will partner to develop an extremity transplant program focused on hand injuries, evaluate quality of life for veterans who have undergone reconstructive therapies and conduct basic research to develop bioartificial tissues.

• $2.5 million will continue to annually support six McCormick Scholars at Medill and two at the Kellogg School of Management. The McCormick Scholarships are designed for experienced media professionals who not only seek to hone their digital skills but also plan to work in media management. The scholarship programs have more than 50 alumni whose education has been put to work at media outlets as diverse as Google, C-Span, Time, Congressional Quarterly, Forbes and Al-Jazeera.

• The gift provides $300,000 to launch the first immersive initiative in social justice reporting at Medill. A select group of professional journalists, working as fellows, will collaborate with Medill graduate students on in-depth investigations of the impact of drugs and drug policy on Chicago’s communities. Their work will coincide with a two-day, McCormick Foundation-supported symposium and culminate in a series of coordinated stories that will be released in multiple Chicago communities in late May or early June.

• $1 million will continue the work of Medill’s National Security Journalism Initiative. The initiative provides student and professional journalists with the knowledge and skills needed to report accurately, completely and in context on events and issues related to defense, security, homeland security and civil liberties. Its work has won awards and been published in The Washington Post and numerous other outlets.

In honor of the historic connections that tie both Joseph Medill and Robert R. McCormick to Northwestern University, individuals applying to the Medill and McCormick schools will be priority candidates for the newly established undergraduate scholarships.

About the McCormick Foundation

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the McCormick Foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is one of the nation’s largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets. For more information, please visit


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