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Northwestern to name residence hall in honor of President Morton Schapiro and Mimi Schapiro

Residence hall at 560 Lincoln St. is one of many projects designed to enhance Northwestern’s student experience
Board of Trustees Chair Lanny Martin ’68, ’73 JD (’02, ’08 P), Gary Saul Morson (’11 P), Rachel Schapiro, Alissa Schapiro, Mimi Schapiro, President Morton Schapiro, and former Board of Trustees Chair Bill Osborn ’69, ’73 MBA, ’18 H dedicate the newly named Schapiro Hall. Photo by Jim Prisching

Editor’s note: On July 11, 2022, Rebecca Blank announced that she has been diagnosed with cancer and will be unable to fulfill her role as president of Northwestern. Morton Schapiro will continue to serve as president until fall. On August 11, Northwestern announced that Michael Schill will become the 17th president and begin his term this fall.

Northwestern University will name the residence hall at 560 Lincoln St. in honor of President Morton Schapiro and his wife, Mimi Schapiro, as a tribute to their years of support for students. Schapiro will conclude his tenure at Northwestern Aug. 31.

The building will be named Schapiro Hall effective in June.

More than 70 members of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees and other friends of the University made gifts to the Morton and Mimi Schapiro Endowed Fund, which will support programming for Schapiro Hall residents as well as the maintenance and upkeep of the building’s common spaces.

“When Morty first arrived on campus 13 years ago, he made it clear he wanted Northwestern to further establish itself as one of the finest academic institutions in the world and as a great place for undergraduates,” said J. Landis Martin ’68, ’73 JD (’02, ’08 P), chair of the Board of Trustees. “Under his leadership and support, our students have flourished. It’s only fitting that we honor his legacy and the kindness extended by his family to our academic community by naming this building in their honor.” 

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Just as Morty ushered in a new era for student engagement and involvement with his arrival, the opening of 560 Lincoln ushered in a new era of the undergraduate residential experience at Northwestern.”

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier
Vice president for Student Affairs

Opening 560 Lincoln in 2017 was one step in a larger plan to transform the residential experience for Northwestern undergraduate students. The approach included investing in programs like Wildcat Welcome, upgrading classrooms and creating residential areas across campus with access to common facilities, support structures and programs.

Located on the north end of Evanston’s campus, 560 Lincoln is currently home to approximately 425 students. The 140,000-square-foot, LEED Gold building with incredible views of Lake Michigan features two-story lounges connecting every floor, full kitchens and spaces for both informal gatherings and academic courses for residents of that area.

> Related story: Northwestern celebrates the opening of 560 Lincoln in 2017

“Just as Morty ushered in a new era for student engagement and involvement with his arrival, the opening of 560 Lincoln ushered in a new era of the undergraduate residential experience at Northwestern,” said Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, vice president for Student Affairs. “His dedication to the residential experience — and the renovation and restoration of our residence halls — has been powerful. These important spaces facilitate foundational and meaningful connections and create supportive communities in which our students live, learn and grow.”

Approximately nine other residential life renovation or construction projects were completed during Schapiro’s tenure, including Willard Hall, which was rededicated in 2018 with updated rooms, a fitness area, a redesigned Fran’s Café and a faculty-in-residence apartment, and Rogers House, Northwestern’s first green residence hall

On top of improving the undergraduate residence experience, the University completed more than 50 capital projects to improve the academic and co-curricular experience of students, including building new, state-of-the-art facilities such as the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts and the Global Hub, and updating spaces such as Kresge Centennial Hall.

Other major projects included renovating spaces such as the Evanston campus’s historic Black House where students can engage in meaningful dialogue.

The impact Schapiro has on current students goes beyond physical spaces on campus. The University experienced growth in research excellence, co-curricular programming and academic rigor by faculty and students. In addition, undergraduate financial aid increased from $84 million to $272 million in the University’s budget over 13 years. On top of that, more than 10,000 students have been welcomed into the Schapiro home for dinners and conversation. 

“This is a celebration for a president and family who have done so much for Northwestern and its students,” Martin said.