Chicago financier Lester Crown and his family have made a donation to Brandeis University so large that it will create three endowed faculty chairs and fund a Middle East Studies center in the Crown name.
"The Crown family's extraordinary generosity is matched by their vision for what a great research university can be," President Fred Lawrence said in announcing the gift on Brandeis' website. "Their gift will further support the Crown Center as the foremost institute for scholarly examination of the Middle East and will add to the critically important endowment that supports Brandeis' research mission."
The university won't reveal the amount of the gift, and neither will Mr. Crown's staff.
One of the new chairs will be named the Charles (Corky) Goodman Chair in Middle East History. It's named after Mr. Crown's brother-in-law, whose late wife was Mr. Crown's sister. Mr. Goodman is now married to Margie Korshak, a legend in Chicago's public-relations industry.
Mr. Goodman is vice chairman of Henry Crown & Co., the private-investment group that manages investments in banking, transportation, oil and gas, cellular phones, home furnishings and resort properties.
The Crowns have been donating to Brandeis for decades.
In 1968, the Crowns established Brandeis' Irving and Rose Crown School of Graduate Studies in American Civilization and created the Crown Fellows program to fund its students' work. Crown fellows have held endowed chairs at Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities. In 2005, Mr. Crown donated the first $10 million gift that started the Middle East center.