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About Donor Awareness

During Donor Awareness Month, we thank all of the donors of Benedictine University for their generous support as well as generate awareness and appreciation among the campus community. There are many ways that donors show their generosity to the University. Three different weeks recognize a few of the different ways donors  charity. Ribbons are placed on artwork, classrooms, lab equipment, buildings, and much more.

During this period of time, we also host Tuition Freedom Day and the annual Scholars Society celebration in recognition of our scholarship donors.

Annual Fund Week

Annual Fund Week recognizes those gifts that are given on a yearly basis, whether large or small. These gifts help strengthen the University by providing a base that the University can rely on year-in and year-out. Because of these gifts, the cost of attendance is significantly lower.

Students get the opportunity to show their appreciation for these gifts through Tuition Freedom Day when hundreds of students sign the Donor Awareness canvas to say "thanks". To see where the Tuition Freedom Day canvas will be, CLICK HERE for more information.

Major Gifts Week

Major Gifts Week shows the impact that donors have on many of the different physical items throughout campus. During this week, red ribbons are put up in a few select locations throughout the campus with details of who donated the item or where it was donated to. Below you will find a selection of those items across the campus sorted by location with a few more details about the donation or donors.

Birck Hall

On the 1st floor of Birck Hall, three locations have been highlighted with a ribbon.

Portrait of Kay & Michael Birck, University Trustee, Birck Hall Lead Donors Michael Birck is an integral member of the Board of Trustees. Because of his generosity and dedication to Benedictine University, this Hall was dedicated in his honor.

Tellabs Lecture Hall This space not only provides at least 140 students a space for class, but also a location for Benedictine University to bring in great minds from around the world. Because of the generous donation from Tellabs, Inc., the Tellabs Lecture Hall has been able to host nationally prominent minds like former U.S. Rep. Constance A. Morella (R-MD.), many from the "Visiting Scholars in Catholic Thought" like Rhacel Parreñas, and Fr. Kevin T. FitzGerald, S.J., Ph.D., as well as many others.

Melsa Foundation Labs The Melsa Foundation's generosity provided the ability to create two research labs that have provided students with necessary tools to advance their academic career.

Two locations on the 2nd floor of Birck Hall are highlighted

Jurica-Suchy Museum "The Jurica-Suchy museum represents the work of Fr. Hilary Jurica, O.S.B. and his brother, Fr. Edmund Jurica, O.S.B. who collected specimens for their students to use during their almost 100 combined years of teaching at Benedictine University." For more information on the museum, visit

Room 236, dedicated in honor of Dr. R. Carney Dr. Rose Carney touched many lives while she taught at Benedictine University. Because of this impact, many donors came together to dedicate this room in her honor.

There are two labs highlighted on the 3rd floor of Birck Hall

Senior Lab Room 354, donated by ComEd & Lab Room 365, donated by Abbott Lab's Many corporations have helped make vital student research possible through their donations to these labs. For example, the Senior Lab (BK-354) is used to conduct many of Benedictine University's advanced labs and student research projects. Some of the projects done in this space include robotics, Scanning Tunneling Microscope Modeling, Video analysis of Marshmallow guns, 3-D printing, and many others.

Kindlon Hall of Learning

Lower level of Kindlon Hall of Learning features two highlighted collections

Children's Books Collection, Donated by James Baker, Ph.D. James Baker, Ph.D. established the Robert L. Baker Library Endowment to establish a children's literature library fund to financially assist the purchase (or leasing of) children's material such as books, periodicals, video tapes, computer software, drawings, entertainment, etc.

Dan Ramirez Drawings, Donated by Peter and Ileene Borido In the lower level hallway, you will find many ribbons highlighting the collection of drawings by Dan Ramirez donated by Peter and Ileene Borido. Many other works of art across campus are here because of the generosity of Peter and Ileene Borido.

Three ribbons can be found on the 1st floor of Kindlon Hall of Learning

Portrait of Bess & Joseph Kindlon, Former University Trustee, Kindlon Hall Lead Donors Joe Kindlon was an integral member of the Board of Trustees prior to his death in 2007. Because of his generosity and dedication to Benedictine University, this Hall was dedicated in his honor.

Mary and Child wooden sculpture by Abott Pattison, Donated by Church of St. Mary, Lake Forest This very unique wooden piece was sculpted by Abbott Pattison and donated to Benedictine University by the Church of St. Mary, Lake Forest. Because Abbott Pattison primarily works with metal, this is a very unique sculpture.

Stained Glass Casing from Benedictine Hall Chapel, Donated by Will Gillett, Chair, Board of Trustees Due to a very generous donation from Will Gillett, stained glass windows from the Chapel in Benedictine Hall were able to be preserved and displayed in many cases across the University.

You will find two locations highlighted with a ribbon on the 2nd floor of Kindlon Hall of Learning

Space donated by Rosemary, University Trustee, & Denis Wisnosky The space near the windows of Kindlon Hall 2nd floor Quiet Area is dedicated on behalf of Rosemary, University Trustee, & Dennis Wisnosky. Due to their generous contributions and many others, the Kindlon Hall of Learning was made possible.

Study and Relax Room 228, Donated by Helen & Paul Gauvreau, University Trustee Due to generous donations by Helen & Paul Gauvreau, University Trustee, room #228 exists and Benedictine University students have another space to study, relax, and socialize.

Preserved Stained Glass Windows can be found in the Benedictine University Chapel on the 4th floor of Kindlon Hall of Learning

Stained Glass Casing from Benedictine Hall Chapel, Donated by Will Gillett, Chair, Board of Trustees You can find four large stained glass casings Due to a very generous donation from Will Gillett, stained glass windows from the Chapel in Benedictine Hall were able to be preserved and displayed in many cases across the University.

Fr. Michael Komechak, O.S.B. Art Gallery

Fr. Michael Komechak, O.S.B. Art Gallery, made possible by many donors The late Fr. Michael Komechak, O.S.B. spent his life collecting and celebrating the works of others. Over time, he amassed one of the finest art and sculpture collections in the Midwest. More information can be found at

Painting of Fr. Michael Komechak, O.S.B., painted and donated by William Scarlato William Scarlato provided a personal quote about this painting. Below you can read, in his words, what this painting means. 

"It would not have been enough to represent Fr. Michael, who was my friend and colleague for nearly 20 years, with a traditional, single figure portrait. Fr. Michael was a complex character. I mean “character” in the positive sense that he was a multi-layered person as evidenced by the forms that emerge from him. I represented Michael in silence, with his eyes closed, while holding a blank book. This was purposeful so that the forms that move away from him would speak more loudly of the many aspects of his nature: his passion for collecting art, his capacity to think rapidly, his childlike side, his eclectic taste in art, his elegant and romantic side, the dark side, the art historian, and his Catholic priest self also stated symbolically by the bread assembled on the table." -William Scarlato, Professor of Art

Krasa Center

Class of 2008 Legacy Gift in the Lower Level of Krasa

Computers in lower level Krasa Center, Donated as a Legacy Gift from the Classmates of 2008 The Classmates of 2008 donated these computers as a legacy gift to future students. If you would like to participate in the Class of 2014 Gift Campaign, contact Jill Poskin or visit the Class of 2014 Gift Webpage.


BenUnion, made possible by many donors Through the tireless efforts and contributions of many staff, students, alumni and friends BenUnion officially opened on March 7, 2014, giving a space for students to hang out, play games and kick back. Many donations from individuals contributed to purchasing items, while other items were direct donations. The billiards table was a selfless gift from Jim Friel.

Scholl Hall

On the 1st floor of Scholl Hall, you will find two different set of items highlighted

Stained Glass Casing from Benedictine Hall Chapel, Donated by Will Gillett, Chair, Board of Trustees You will find eight large stained glass casings in two different locations. As mentioned about, due to a very generous donation from Will Gillett, stained glass windows from the Chapel in Benedictine Hall were able to be preserved and displayed in many cases across the University.

Chinese Art by unknown artist, Donated to Fr. Michael Komechak's art collection These two pieces were donated to Fr. Michael Komechak's art collection. They are hand done paintings that Fr. Michael Komechak chose to have framed because of the quality of the pieces.

On the 2nd floor of Scholl there is one piece highlighted

Untitled(aka Toothbrush) - 1988. Wood, paint by Ursula Von Rydingsvard, donated by Daryl E. Gerber and Jeffrey Stokols This piece by Ursula Von Rydingsvard was donated to Fr. Michael Komechak, O.S.B. before he passed away. Von Rydingsvard "is a sculptor who has been working in Brooklyn, New York for the past 30 years. She received her MFA from Columbia University in 1975 after which time she started to work with cedar, a material through which she has explored a wide range of images." She has won numerous awards for her work, including "Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture (2011), Joan Mitchell Award (1997), Guggenheim Fellowship (1983), International Association of Art Critics Award (1992, 2000, 2011), National Endowment for the Arts(1979,1986)."(

Scholarships & Endowments Week

A large amount of donations go toward helping students attend Benedictine University. There are nearly 100 scholarship endowment and awards established by donors to create a legacy of opportunity. Many of these scholarships are created in honor of faculty, family, and other Benedictine community members that have had an impact on many lives.

Nearly 97% of new freshmen receive scholarships or financial aid, averaging over $15,000 per student.

Over 74% of all students receive some sort of financial aid or scholarship, with the average amount awarded to a student per year totaling over $14,000!

Donors want to spread the strength of a Benedictine education and its traditions to future generations. That is why they make such a big investment in students through scholarship donations.

Day-to-Day Life at Benedictine

As you walk across campus, please take a moment to reflect on the many areas you have at your disposal each and every day. The fitness center you workout in; the arena or field you play on, whether through organized athletics or intramurals; the buildings, labs and classrooms you learn in; the residence halls you reside in; the scholarships you have available to you. All these would not be here if not for the generosity of donors. Please take time during Donor Awareness month to thank those who support this institution through their generous donations.

Office of University Development

Benedictine University

Krasa Center, Room 175
M-F 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.