News and analysis
February 13, 2017

Gifts Roundup: Northwestern Alumnus Pledges $20 Million for Sports Upgrade

Northwestern University

Lawyer and longtime Northwestern trustee Howard Trienens donated $20 million to transform the practice center for the university’s basketball and volleyball teams.

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

Northwestern University

Howard Trienens pledged up to $20 million to renovate an athletics practice facility adjacent to the campus’s Welsh-Ryan Arena. The venue for basketball, volleyball, and other teams will be renamed the Trienens Performance Center.

Mr. Trienens is a partner at law firm Sidley Austin and a 50-year member of the university’s Board of Trustees. He earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from Northwestern in the 1940s and clerked from 1950 to 1952 for Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Vinson.

Michigan State University

Albert Dehn, a veterinarian, left $12.6 million to the College of Veterinary Medicine to endow two professorships in the departments of Large Animal Clinical Sciences and Pathobiology & Diagnostic Investigations.

The money is likely to endow two additional professorships in the future.

After earning his veterinary degree from Michigan State in 1950, Mr. Dehn moved back to his hometown of Abbotsford, Wis., where he practiced for his entire career, mostly treating the cows on local dairy farms.

Vanderbilt University

Robert and Diane Levy committed $10 million to a scholarship fund they established with an earlier gift in 1997 to provide full financial aid to needy students.

Mr. Levy is a retired chairman of the Chicago investment firm Harris Associates. He graduated from the university in 1972.

The Levy scholarship fund has supported 15 undergraduates since the couple started it 20 years ago.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Chris and Sara Connor gave $9 million to create a new theater that is slated to open this summer and will be named for the donors.

Mr. Connor is the executive chairman of the Sherwin-Williams company and leads the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

Greensboro College

Walter and Dennie Newton pledged $6 million for financial aid, faculty and staff salaries, and academic and other programs.

Mr. Newton runs the Newton Instrument Company, a telecommunications-equipment manufacturer started by his father. He and his wife are leading the college’s $15-million capital campaign.

Hiram College

Dean Scarborough and his wife, Janice Bini, donated $2.1 million to launch a program merging classroom learning with mobile technology. The Tech and Trek program will provide Apple products such as iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to students, faculty, and staff at the Ohio institution.

Mr. Scarborough graduated from the college in 1977 and recently retired as chief executive of the Avery Dennison Corporation, which manufactures packaging materials.

To learn about other big donations, see our database of gifts of $1 million or more, which is updated throughout the week.

Send an email to Maria Di Mento.