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University of Chicago receives $35 million gift to support Arts Center

May 3, 2007

The University of Chicago announced today that it has received a $35 million cash
gift from David and Reva Logan, and their sons and grandchildren, to support the University’s Center for the Creative and Performing Arts.

Logan is a graduate of the University’s College and its law school and a longtime supporter of the arts. This is one of the largest single donor gifts to the University in its history. It also is believed to be both the single largest cash gift to the arts in the city of Chicago and one of the largest gifts to support a university building dedicated to the arts in the United States.

Slated for completion in 2011, at an estimated cost of $100 million, the Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts will be located on the southern end of the University of Chicago campus, at 60th Street and Ingleside Avenue; it will become a center for all areas of artistic expression — visual arts, theater and performance, music and film — at the University.

“This is a historic gift that will have a tremendous impact not only on our students, faculty, and community, but on the future of the arts in Chicago,” said President Robert J. Zimmer. “Creativity has always been a hallmark of the University of Chicago and an essential stimulus of the world-changing ideas that have taken root here. The opening of the Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts will give the University an unprecedented opportunity to pioneer new ideas and art forms by bringing diverse artistic disciplines and perspectives together in dynamic collaboration under one roof, and establishing a site where intellectual inquiry and creative practice meet. We look forward eagerly to welcoming our neighbors on the South Side to share this exciting space with us, and to expanding the ranks of first-rate cultural institutions in Chicago.”

David Logan is a 1939 graduate of the College and a 1941 graduate of Chicago’s law school. Reva Logan also attended the College and is a former teacher. The Logans have a wide range of philanthropic interests — they’ve given generously to support education, health, social change, and poverty reduction — but the lifelong Chicago residents have had a particular passion for the arts.

“The Logans see the Center not as a building project,” said David Logan, “but as a way to improve the quality of life for students and faculty of the University, as well as the community.” Logan served on the Illinois Arts Council for 29 years and chaired the Council’s Arts in Education panel for its first several years.

An internationally renowned collector of photography and artist-illustrated books, David Logan has received the Governor’s (Illinois) Special Recognition Award for Distinguished Service in the Arts and Education. In previous years, the Logans have provided generous grants in support of numerous arts projects, including New Writing in Photography, the Chicago Arts Partnership for Education, Ken Burns’ “Jazz,” and Duke University’s Jazz Loft Project.

The couple also has funded the Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco and endowed a faculty position in investigative journalism at the University of California Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Mr. Logan also has been a leader in the University of Chicago alumni community.

“Universities, at their best, are places of invention that change peoples’ lives," said Danielle Allen, Dean of the Division of the Humanities, and a long-time champion of the arts center. “Mr. Logan understands that and has responded with magnanimity. His gift is an act of vision. Throughout the 20th century the arts have inspired daring creativity at the University of Chicago; with this remarkable gift the University’s distinctive dynamism and creative power are secured for future generations.”

John Boyer, Dean of the College, said that the Logan gift will, at last, provide the University with an Arts Center truly worthy of our students and our faculty.“As an alumnus of the College and the Law School,” Boyer said, “David understands the profound importance of the creative and performing arts to students in the College and in the professional schools and graduate divisions as well. The Logan Center will be a democratic building, a building of beauty and dignity, and a building that conveys by its openness and quiet authority that it is a perfect symbol of a great educational institution in a great metropolis.”

An architect for the Reva and David Logan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts will be selected later this month. For more information on the arts and the University of Chicago, please visit

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Last modified at 11:09 AM CST on Monday, July 23, 2007

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