The Feinberg School of Medicine entered a new era last Thursday (April 21) with the opening of the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center of Northwestern University.
Major donors, University officials and government leaders attended the ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for the building at the southeast corner of Superior Street and Fairbanks Court on the Chicago campus.
Ann Lurie, who made a $40 million leadership gift for the building, cut the huge purple ribbon that surrounded the building to officially open the doors of the new state-of-the-art research and teaching facility named in honor of her late husband.
More than 400 people, including Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, attended the ceremony that followed in the Hughes Auditorium and was broadcast to spillover attendees in the Eleanor Baldwin Auditorium.
Daley said to Ms. Lurie, “You and your family represent the best of Chicago’s business leaders. You represent the spirit of what is best in society.”
Ms. Lurie, who received a standing ovation, said, “More than anything else, this effort has been about progress. We are here today to salute and support that progress. I absolutely know in my heart that those who labor here will make progress.”
President Henry S. Bienen said, “Ann Lurie’s vision and generosity have transformed the Feinberg School of Medicine and the entire University. Discoveries made in this building, with her help, will save lives and make the human condition better for untold numbers of people.
“This is an extraordinary public investment in a private university, but one that recognizes the vital role a private university can play in furthering the public good: fighting disease, improving public health, training the next generation of doctors and researchers and creating new products and processes that will stimulate economic growth," he added.
Also speaking on behalf of the University were Patrick G. Ryan, chairman of the board of trustees; Lewis Landsberg, M.D., dean of Feinberg and vice president for medical affairs; J. Larry Jameson, M.D., Irving S. Cutter Professor of Medicine and chair of the department of medicine; and Steven T. Rosen, M.D., Genevieve E. Teuton Professor of Medicine and director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.
The ceremony also recognized major contributions from other major donors, including an investment of $25 million by Northwestern Memorial Hospital; a $30 million grant from the State of Illinois; and a significant gift from Patrick and Shirley Ryan, both Northwestern alumni; and the U.S. Department of Defense.
Also recognized as benefactors were the Avon Foundation; Eleanor R. Baldwin; Fred Drucker and A. Norman Drucker; Alan A. and Livia Groth; John and Nancy Hughes; and Christine Querfeld.
Lurie family members who attended the event were Ms. Lurie’s children, Jesse, Sara, Andrew, Abbie, Ben and Elizabeth; Sylvia Lurie, Mr. Lurie’s mother; Norman and Lynne Lurie, Mr. Lurie’s brother and sister-in-law; and Brandon and Mackenzie, Mr. Lurie’s nephew and his wife.
Government leaders who attended the ceremony included Ald. Burton Natarus, 42nd Ward, Chicago; Michael Madigan, speaker of the Illinois House; former Illinois Gov. George Ryan; former Illinois Cong. William Lipinski; and Lee Daniels, former Illinois state representative.
Guests received guided tours of the fourth and seventh floors conducted by researchers and graduate students.