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Galvin Foundation Makes $6 Million Gift to Northwestern

The Robert W. Galvin Foundation is honoring Mary B. Galvin, wife of former chairman and CEO of Motorola Inc., with a gift to Northwestern University.

Northwestern University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music recently received a $6 million gift from the Robert W. Galvin Foundation in honor of Mary B. Galvin, who graduated in 1945 with an undergraduate degree in communication. 

The new Music and Communication Building under construction on the Evanston campus will be renamed the Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall in recognition of the gift. 

Designed by architectural firm Goettsh Partners, the building located on the south end of campus will be Bienen School of Music’s new home. 

“The recital hall will be the centerpiece of our new building,” said Toni-Marie Montgomery, dean of the Bienen School of Music in a statement. “Mrs. Galvin’s role as co-founder of the Stradivari Society, which has provided valuable and prestigious string instruments to world-class musicians such as Midori, Joshua Bell and Gil Shaham, makes the naming of this venue particularly meaningful.” 

The Galvin family has a long connection to the university. Mary’s husband, Robert W. Galvin, former chairman and CEO of Motorola Inc., who died in 2011, received an honorary degree from Northwestern in 1992. Christopher B. Galvin, who succeeded his father, Robert, as chairman and CEO at Motorola, is a member of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees and the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Kellogg School of Management, also received an undergraduate and master’s degree from the university.  

“The entire Galvin family is pleased to honor our mother and grandmother for her passionate contributions to the arts throughout the world over the past five decades and to support Northwestern’s outstanding music and communication programs,” Chris Galvin said in a statement. “Mom encouraged Motorola Inc. to provide sponsorship for one of the Japanese tours of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra 20 years ago, and she originated the idea for a China event. She then personally presented one of her Stradivari-sponsored violinists in a private concert she hosted in Beijing for the Presidents of China Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao a few days before their transition of power in 2002." 

Mary has been a global citizen in the arts and served on the boards of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera and Joffrey Ballet in the U.S. 

“We are extremely grateful for the support of the Galvin family and the Galvin Foundation, and we look forward to the gala opening of the Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall in 2015," Montgomery said in a statement.

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