Northwestern donates first portion of $5 million gift to Evanston

Julia Jacobs, City Editor

Northwestern has donated $1 million to Evanston in the first annual installment of a five-year gift announced last spring.

Half of the first donation will help improve Sheridan Road through resurfacing and traffic signal upgrades. NU has invested the remaining half of the money in Evanston’s ambulance service, the city’s youth outreach program, at-risk youth job training and support for families impacted by violent crime.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl announced the $5 million gift at her annual State of the City address in March.

“Northwestern University, our businesses, residents of Evanston, our schools and not-for-profits are … partners in making this city great,” Tisdahl said during the address. “So I say to you in confidence that we can and we will solve our challenges.”

At a meeting between Tisdahl and University President Morton Schapiro last month, they agreed the fire department will receive $200,000 to put toward its ambulance service.

At-risk job training programs will receive $150,000 from the University. Two-thirds of that money will help develop new job training programs, one of which the City Council will likely approve this month.

The city’s Youth and Young Adult Division will also receive $100,000, which will allow the department to add another full-time outreach worker.

The rest of the money — $50,000 — will go to the mayor’s fund to assist families impacted by violent crime. The announcement comes after two gang-related fatal shootings in the past two months, prompting the Evanston Police Department to launch a violence reduction program to retrieve guns off the street.

“One of Northwestern’s greatest assets is its location in Evanston, and we are so pleased to offer our assistance as part of our contribution to Evanston’s Good Neighbor Fund,” Schapiro said in a news release. “We look forward to working together and providing additional support to the city on important Evanston projects and initiatives in the future.”

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