Blackhawks chairman funds Northwestern performing arts center - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Blackhawks chairman funds Northwestern performing arts center

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago Blackhawks chairman William Rockwell "Rocky" Wirtz and his wife announced they will create an endowment fund that will fund student and faculty projects in the Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern.

The gift is part of a $3.75 billion university-wide fundraising initiative.

The center will be renamed the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts in honor of Wirtz's grandmother, who graduated from Northwestern in 1924.

"Throughout her life, my grandmother was a champion for the arts and giving back," said Wirtz. "It's an honor and privilege to carry on that legacy along with my wife, Marilyn, and our children and grandchildren, for many more generations."

Additionally, the center will be remodeled in 2015. The planned improvements will create new classrooms, rehearsal and performance spaces.

School of Communication Dean Barbara O'Keefe said, "Combined with the new Music and Communication Building and the renovation of the Wirtz Center, the Wirtz endowment will provide the foundation for a new century of innovation in the arts at Northwestern."

The Wirtz endowment will also provide resources for Northwestern's arts programs for Chicago-area children.

Wirtz is a member of the Northwestern Board of Trustees and has served on the School of Communication's National Advisory Board since 1986. He received a bachelor's degree from the School of Communication in 1975.

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