Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management announced on Tuesday that it has received a $17 million donation from the estate of alumnus James R. Russell. The gift will be used to fund a new one-year M.S. in management studies to be offered at the B-school and known as the Russell Fellows Program. The gift will also establish a chaired professorship in the school’s finance department.
The Russell Fellows program launched in July with a class of 25 students. The new program, which is still in the pilot stage, targets students with an undergraduate degree in the liberal arts who have an interest in learning the basics of business before beginning their careers.
“This very generous bequest from Jim and Helen Russell comes at a transformative and exciting time for Kellogg,” Kellogg Dean Sally Blount said in the release announcing the gift. “Jim was a wise and prudent business man and a loyal alumnus of the school. We are grateful to the entire Russell family for this gift, and are honored to use it to celebrate Jim’s legacy and a very successful career at [(ticker symbol="ITW")Illinois Tool Works[/ticker].”
Kellogg will also name after the Russells a study lounge in the school’s new Lakefront Global Learning Center. “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,” their daughter, Jean Russell, said in a press release. The lounge is expected to open in 2016.
Russell attended what was then known as Northwestern’s School of Commerce and earned a degree in business administration in 1935. After graduating, he spent 40 years at Illinois Tool Works, where he became chief financial officer until his retirement in 1979. He passed away in 2011.