The gift will help fund construction of the music school's new $55.8 million performance building. In recognition of the gift, the school will be renamed the Mead Witter School of Music and the performance area within the new facility will be known as the Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall. The building itself will be named the Hamel Music Center, in recognition of an initial $15 million gift for the first phase of the project pledged by alumnus George Hamel and his wife, Pamela, in 2007.
"Until the Mead Witter Foundation provided incentive to build the entire music performance center at once, the center was to have been built in phases," said UW–Madison chancellor Rebecca Blank. "We are deeply grateful to the foundation for its generosity that will provide our music program with a superb concert space."
Established in 1951 as the Consolidated Papers Foundation, Inc., the Mead Witter Foundation also supports scholarships and professorships in engineering at UW and was a contributor to the 2011 addition to the university's Chazen Museum of Art.
"The University of Wisconsin System, particularly the University of Wisconsin–Madison, has touched the lives of dozens of Mead and Witter family members through their studies at the UW," said foundation chair George W. Mead II, the fourth-generation leader of the company that his great-grandfather J.D. Witter founded and his grandfather George W. Mead transformed into a world leader in coated papermaking. "The UW impact has also affected probably thousands of our employees and their children who have attended the UW since Consolidated Water Power Company began in 1894."