The University of Chicago has announced a $35 million gift from alumni Joe and Rika Mansueto to create a multidisciplinary institute that will work to create new opportunities for urban scholarship and education with positive and lasting impact globally.
With the goal of enhancing the university's strengths in urban scholarship and education, the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation will bring together programs in the humanities and the social, natural, and computational sciences and will serve as an intellectual destination for urban scholars, students, policy makers, and practitioners. To that end, work done at the institute will focus on the possibilities of urbanization — from better health care, to enhancing the well-being of urban youth, to developing effective housing policies and reducing urban violence. The institute also will play a key role in the university's comprehensive and integrative efforts to bridge urban scholarship, practice, and engagement — an institutional commitment known as UChicago Urban — and will work closely with the Urban Education Institute and Urban Labs, as well as the Office of Civic Engagement.
Joe Mansueto, who earned degrees from UChicago and the Booth School of Business, and Rika Mansueto, who graduated from UChicago, previously gave $25 million to the university in support of what is now the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library. The Mansuetos signed the Giving Pledge in 2010.
"The Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation will build on the university's long history of urban scholarship and education, and will bring perspectives from across the institution to develop an understanding of the processes that drive, shape and sustain cities," said UChicago president Robert J. Zimmer. "In recent years our faculty and deans have articulated the opportunity for a multidisciplinary institute that could enhance and foster a distinctive perspective in urban research and education. We are very grateful for the Mansuetos’ support that will enable these ideas to be realized."