Kellogg donation to fund new master’s program, chaired professorship

Cat Zakrzewski, Assistant Summer Editor

The Kellogg School of Management has received a $17 million gift from the estate of an alumnus, the University announced Tuesday.

The donation from James R. Russell (Kellogg ’35) will fund the creation of a new Kellogg fellows program and establish a chaired professorship in the school’s finance department, the University said. NU plans to recognize the gift by naming a lounge in a new Kellogg building on the lakefront set to open in 2016.

The Russell Fellows Program, which offers a one-year master of science in management studies, began a pilot version with 25 students late last month with many of them receiving need-based financial aid, according to the University. The new master’s degree will provide recent liberal arts graduates with business knowledge before they start their careers.

The first James R. and Helen D. Russell Professor of Finance will be Kellogg Prof. Janice Eberly, the University said. Eberly most recently served as chief economist in the Treasury Department.

James Russell died in 2011. Before his retirement in 1979, he served as the chief financial officer of Illinois Tool Works, where he worked for four decades. He graduated summa cum laude from NU and met his wife Helen there. They are survived by their daughter Jean Russell.

“I’m thrilled that this gift will honor my father’s talent in business and finance,” Jean Russell said in a news release. “My parents would be delighted to know that their legacy will live on to support business education and scholarships and the work of Kellogg’s world-class finance faculty.”

Cat Zakrzewski