The University of Chicago News Office
Dec. 9, 2005 Press Contact: Sabrina Miller
(773) 702-4195

$1.5 million raised to restore historic organ and carillon at the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel

To celebrate University of Chicago President Donald Randel’s 65th birthday, University trustees, alumni and other generous friends on Friday presented him with a $1.5 million gift – the funds to be used to restore the E. M. Skinner organ and the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Carillon. Preservation of the historic instruments has been a priority for President Randel, a musicologist by training. The University continues to accept gifts as it works toward the goal of $2.75 million, estimated to fully preserve these wonderful instruments.

Considered one of the best examples of 20th century romantic organs built in America, the E. M. Skinner organ features large pipes and colorful tones not found in modern organs. The organ now is out of service and needs significant reconditioning to replace authentic parts and restore its original design. The Laura Spelman Rockefeller Carillon is the second biggest in the world. Cast in England, it is famed for the rich resonant tones of its large bells. Exposure to Chicago winters has left the bells rusted.
Last modified at 04:47 PM CST on Friday, December 09, 2005.

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