Thursday, October 3, 2019

Museum of Science and Industry changing name after $125M gift from Chicagoan Ken Griffin.

The Museum of Science and Industry will now be called the "Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry" following a donation of $125 million from the Chicago billionaire. It was the museum's board who decided to honor Ken Griffin by amending his name to the museum's name.

It’s the largest single gift in the history of the museum, which opened in 1933.
The museum was incorporated as the Julius Rosenwald Industrial Museum but was renamed the Museum of Science and Industry in 1928 – five years before it actually opened – because Rosenwald did not want his name on the museum.

“This incredibly generous gift helps ensure MSI remains a vital resource for science learning well into the 21st century,” the museum announced on its website. It explained that renaming the museum “was the most appropriate way to convey our gratitude for this gift.” Griffin is the richest man in Illinois.
Kenneth C. Griffin
The museum also insisted its mission will not change as a result of the donation, part of which will go toward a new “Pixel Studio,” which is called “a state-of-the-art digital gallery and performance space that will be the only experience of its kind in North America.

“The purpose of this gift is to allow us to continue the great work we do in support of our mission and vision,” the museum’s statement said. “MSI’s mission will remain the same as it has always been: to inspire the inventive genius in everyone, and we are grateful for this gift, which will help ensure the Museum remains a vital resource for science learning well into the 21st century.”

Private support for the museum in 2018 totaled $19 million, up $3 million from the previous year.

By Mitch Dudek, Chicago Sun-Times, Oct 3, 2019
Edited by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

Kenneth C. Griffin - Chicago Philanthropy
  • Griffin had contributed millions to the Art Institute of Chicago, public education, the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, the Chicago Public Library, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Griffin also contributed to the Museum of Contemporary Art, the "Evolving Planet" at the Field Museum of Natural History, and endowed professorships at the University of Chicago. 
  • In October 2006, the Griffins and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, funded and supported the opening of a new charter school in Chicago named Woodlawn High School.
  • In 2007 Griffin donated a $19 million addition to the Art Institute of Chicago that was designed by Renzo Piano.
  • In October 2009, Griffin and his wife founded the Kenneth and Anne Griffin Foundation. The foundation's contributions include $10 million for the Chicago Heights Early Childhood Center, $16 million to Children's Memorial Hospital, full funding for the University of Chicago's Early Childhood Center, and others.
  • In December 2016, Griffin gave $12 million to the Chicago Park District to help fund separate paths for cyclists and pedestrians along the city's 18-mile lakefront.
  • In November 2017, the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund made a new $125 million gift to support the Department of Economics of the University of Chicago, which he was honored with the department being renamed to the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics.
  • A $16.5 million donation allowed the Field Museum to purchase a cast of the largest dinosaur ever discovered in 2018, a 122-foot-long Argentinian titanosaur named Máximo.
  • In October 2019, the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable fund announced a $125 million gift to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, the largest gift in the museum's history. The museum intends to change the name to the Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry. 

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