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Alumna/Trustee Endows Directorship at Museum

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September 23, 2005
Ellen Philips Katz

Ellen Philips Katz is joined by David Robertson at the reception. Photo by Mary Hanlon

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University alumna and trustee Ellen Philips Katz of New York City has made a $1 million gift to Northwestern to establish the Ellen Philips Katz Directorship of the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art.

The announcement was made by Northwestern University President Henry S. Bienen at a museum reception today (Sept. 22.)

“This is an exciting moment for the University,” said President Bienen. “Ellen’s generosity and foresight in establishing this endowed position will help to ensure the long-term viability of the Block Museum as an important cultural resource for Northwestern.”

Katz received her undergraduate degree in art history from Northwestern's Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in 1970. A long-time supporter of the Block Museum and the University, Katz was named to Northwestern’s Board of Trustees in June 2003. She currently serves on the Alumni Relations and Development Committee and the Educational Policies and Appointments Committee, and she co-chairs the Major Gift Committee.

In New York, Katz is vice chairman of the board of trustees of the Mount Sinai Medical Center, where she was recently honored as the original organizer of the Crystal Ball benefit, which just celebrated its 20th year. She also serves on the board of the Lincoln Center Theater. She is on the executive committee of the President’s Council of Rockefeller University. In Phoenix, where she and her husband spend winters, Katz is vice chairman of the board of the Phoenix Art Museum.

David Alan Robertson, who was appointed director of the Block in 2002, will be the first Ellen Philips Katz Director of the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art.

The Block Museum is a multi-faceted museum committed to providing excellence in the visual arts for the Northwestern University community and general public, both in its facility and on the Internet. Its permanent collection contains holdings of 20th century sculpture, which are viewable on campus in the Sculpture Garden, and 16th to 21st century works on paper, which are regularly exhibited and accessible in the Museum's Print, Drawing, and Photography Study Center.

The museum offers diverse and thought-provoking special exhibitions, both in multiple gallery spaces and in cyberspace, as well as a full palette of lectures, symposia, concerts, films, and publications.