Northwestern University has committed $100 million to support city services and programs in its hometown of Evanston, Ill., the university announced Monday. The proposed 10-year agreement, which still requires final approval, will focus primarily on “equity, affordable housing, education, economic development and community engagement.”
Key components of the draft agreement include:
- Tripling to $3 million per year Northwestern’s contributions to the City’s Good Neighbor Fund.
- Awarding at least $2 million a year in financial aid to Evanston high school students and working to increase the number of local students admitted to Northwestern.
- Distributing $1 million total each year to local not-for-profit organizations, schools, faith-based institutions and community organizations.
- Contributing $250,000 a year for the revitalization of downtown Evanston.
- Redeveloping Ryan Field, Northwestern’s football stadium, as a commercial concert venue. The project is expected to generate nearly $660 million for the city, including more than 2,900 jobs and $12 million in direct fees.
“Northwestern has always strived to be a good neighbor for all of Evanston,” said Dave Davis, Northwestern’s senior executive director of neighborhood and community relations. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to bring this multimillion-dollar investment to Evanston to support the future development, strength and resiliency of our local economy and workforce. The proposed agreement demonstrates our accountability and steadfast commitment to the betterment of the Evanston community that we all call home.”
Northwestern is the latest university to increase financial contributions to its host city to help compensate for its nonprofit status, which exempts institutions from paying property taxes.