Chicago Blackhawks chairman endows Theatre and Interpretation Center

Rebecca Savransky, Campus Editor

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Chicago Blackhawks chairman William Rockwell “Rocky” Wirtz has created an endowment for Northwestern to foster student and faculty projects in the Theatre and Interpretation Center.

Wirtz and his wife will contribute a multimillion dollar gift, resulting in the renaming of the center to the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts. The name was chosen in honor of Wirtz’s grandmother, who graduated from NU in 1924.

“This significant gift builds on the extraordinary generosity of Rocky and Marilyn Wirtz, which has had a transformative impact on the School of Communication over the years,” University President Morton Schapiro said in a news release. “Their support has helped cultivate Northwestern’s unparalleled reputation in the performance arts.”

In 2015, the center will be renovated to include additional classrooms, rehearsal and performance spaces. The University’s new Music and Communication Building is scheduled to open the same year, and will include the departments of theatre and performance studies on the fifth floor.

The Wirtz contribution will fund a variety of upgrades, including greater collaboration with professional artists and theaters and also improvements to the School of Communication’s arts programs with children in the Chicago area.

Twitter: @beccasavransky