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Pritzker Family Donates $100 Million To Northwestern's Law School

By Kate Shepherd in News on Oct 22, 2015 9:09PM

Northwestern University, via Wikimedia Commons

Northwestern University School of Law is getting a new name following the largest donation ever given to a U.S. law school.

Alumnus J.B. Pritzker and his wife, M.K. Pritzker donated $100 million to the school, which has already been renamed the Pritzker School of Law, the university said in a statement Thursday.

Part of the money will be used to help disadvantaged students attend the prestigious law school through scholarships and grants.

"The purpose of the gift is broadly to help provide scholarships for the best students in the country so that no matter their socio-economic background they can attend Northwestern Law School," J.B. Pritzker, an heir to the Pritzker family fortune and entrepreneur, said during at the announcement event.

Three generations ago, Nicholas J. Pritzker grew up in poverty as an immigrant before working his way through the Illinois College of Law. The family has accomplished an incredible amount in the business world since then, including founding Hyatt Hotels.

The gift will also support several social justice centers at the school including the Center on Wrongful Convictions and permanently endow and rename the Law School's Entrepreneurship Law Center to the Donald Pritzker Entrepreneurial Law Center.

"This extraordinary gift will help provide the financial foundation for this law school to produce a new breed of highly skilled, adaptive lawyers-creative, constructive problem-solvers armed with multidisciplinary skills and resolutely committed to social justice and the rule of law," Law School Dean Daniel Rodriguez said in a statement.