Alumna’s gift to support Deering renovation, athletic department

Olivia Exstrum, Assistant Campus Editor

A Northwestern alumna has promised a significant donation to support University Library, undergraduate scholarships and the athletic department, the University announced Thursday.

The donation is part of the We Will campaign, a $3.75 billion University fundraising initiative.

A large part of the commitment will aid an extensive renovation of Deering Library, where donor Leslie Devereaux (Weinberg ’64) frequented as an undergraduate student.

“We are deeply grateful for Ms. Devereaux’s generosity over more than three decades,” said Sarah Pritchard, Dean of Libraries and Charles Deering McCormick University Librarian. “Her support has helped make the Library the outstanding resource it is today for the entire University community.”

The renovation efforts will focus on maintaining the 82-year-old building’s Collegiate Gothic design, while updating its resources with technology and new “learning spaces.” Renovations made in 2012 reopened the Deering entryway with wheelchair-accessible ramps, better climate control systems and a security system.

Future plans for the library include “restoring the stained glass and conserving the classic woodwork, carvings and other artwork” in addition to improving the security of collections, the release said.

The gift will also be put toward digitizing hundreds of hours of film in the University’s Football Films Collection. The collection includes footage of key moments in Wildcat history, such as the 1949 Rose Bowl game.

As a longtime fan of NU’s athletics programs, part of Devereaux’s contribution will also go toward the Department of Athletics and Recreation. At NU, Devereaux was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority and was treasurer of the Women’s Athletic Association’s executive board. Today, she is president and treasurer of the Richard C. Devereaux Foundation, named after her late father.

“My college years were among the most influential and memorable of my life,” Devereaux said. “It is my hope that my gifts will contribute to an extraordinary experience for current and future Northwestern students.”

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Previous stories on this topic:

    Northwestern set to unveil $3.75 billion capital campaign
    Northwestern re-opens Deering Library doors