Ryan Field to be redeveloped after largest single donation in Northwestern history

By Ally Navarrete

The Patrick and Shirley Ryan Family has gifted $480 million to Northwestern, including funds to redevelop Ryan Field. The family’s donation is the largest single philanthropic gift in university history.

Originally constructed in 1926, Ryan Field underwent expansions and renovations in 1949, 1952 and most substantially in 1997. In a letter to the NU community, athletic director Dr. Derrick Gragg wrote that the upcoming renovation will “completely transform” the stadium.

In that same letter, Gragg outlined that the new development of Ryan Field will aim to increase accessibility and environmental sustainability, bolster the Evanston economy and create an enhanced viewing and playing experience for fans and athletes alike.

“We deeply appreciate the Ryan Family’s enduring dedication to our student-athletes. Their generosity, vision and leadership defies description,” Gragg wrote in the letter. “The impact the Ryan Family has had on Northwestern University, and will have on so many future generations of students, is truly incomparable.”

The gift from the Ryan Family will also provide Northwestern with funds for research in areas like digital medicine, neuroscience and global health, as well as applied economics and business.

For more information about the field’s redevelopment, click here.