Northwestern University received the largest donation in its history, $ 480 million, from Patrick G. Ryan, founder and long-time former CEO of Aon Corp, and now president of the Ryan Specialty Group, and his wife, Shirley W. Ryan, co-founder and long-time president of the Pathways Center pediatric clinic.
Ryans’ donation will support education and research initiatives in applied microeconomics, business, digital medicine, neuroscience and global health, as well as translational research at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the redevelopment of Ryan Field.
The school said the Ryans’ giveaway pushed its’ We Will ‘fundraising campaign past the $ 6 billion mark, making it one of the largest fundraising campaigns in the world. the history of higher education.
Even before this last gift, the Ryan family were already the greatest benefactor in Northwestern history. Their philanthropic support has benefited fields across the University, including scientific research, faculty, academic programs, student access and achievement, the performing arts, and athletics.
Patrick G. Ryan graduated from 1959 from Northwestern. He received his undergraduate degree in commerce from what was then called the School of Business and is now called the Kellogg School of Management. He also received an honorary degree from the University in 2009 in recognition of his 14 years of service as Chairman of the Northwestern Board of Directors. In 2013, he was inducted into the Northwestern Track and Field Hall of Fame.
Shirley Welsh Ryan graduated from the Northwest in 1961. She received her undergraduate degree in English from what was then called the College of Arts and Sciences and is now called the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.
Patrick Ryan’s first business venture as a student was to sell scrapbooks to other students, which paid for his education in the Northwest. Ryan founded and served for 41 years as CEO of Aon Corp., one of the world’s leading insurance brokers. At the time of his retirement, Aon had annual revenue of nearly $ 8 billion with more than 500 offices in 120 countries.
In 2010, Ryan founded Ryan Specialty Group, an insurance wholesale broker and underwriter manager. mRyan is currently President and CEO of Ryan Specialty Group Holdings, Inc., which completed its initial public offering in July 2021.
Shirley Ryan is nationally recognized for her 40-year work to advance the innovative ability of the infant brain to learn motor steps. Two US presidents appointed her to the National Disability Council. She co-founded and chaired Pathways Center, a multidisciplinary pediatric clinic, for 33 years. She also founded the Pathways Medical Roundtable to guide content for Pathways.org, which helps parents track and improve infant motor, sensory, and communication milestones.
She also founded and directs Northwestern’s Learning for Life series in 1976 and is a founding member of the Northwestern Women’s Board.
Source: Northwestern University
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