Northwestern University has announced a $10 million gift from alumna Jennifer Leischner Litowitz ('91) and her husband, Alec Litowitz, to create a joint degree program at its Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.
Part of Northwestern's $3.75 billion We Will campaign, the gift will establish the Litowitz Creative Writing Graduate Program, a three-year program that will offer both artistic training and critical thinking through the through the curricula of the Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and Master of Arts in English programs. The program, which will enroll students starting in the fall of 2018, is designed to expand students' skills and employment prospects with a shorter path to completion than a PhD in creative writing and help boost the study of arts at Northwestern by incorporating opportunities in related fields such as drama, film, music, art, and dance.
The Litowitz Family Endowed Fund at Northwestern will provide support for the program's director and staff, graduate fellows, visiting professors, conferences and travel expenses, special events, and other activities. In addition, Northwestern's TriQuarterly magazine will provide hands-on editorial experience for the MFA-MA students, preparing them for careers as editors and managing editors of prominent literary journals.
Longtime supporters of Northwestern, the Litowitzes have provided support for the university's Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art and other areas of Northwestern, and they are members of NU Loyal, a giving society that recognizes consistent annual giving to the university. In addition to serving as a member of the Weinberg College Board of Visitors, Jennifer Leischner Litowitz is a longstanding member of the Writers Theatre Board of Trustees. With her husband, she owns and oversees Guildhall Restaurant in Glencoe. Alec Litowitz is founder and CEO of Evanston-based Magnetar Capital LLC.
"Northwestern has a proud history of excellence in writing, and it is one of the areas in which we expect to have the most significant impact as a university," said Northwestern president Morton Schapiro. "We are grateful to Jennifer and Alec for their partnership in this effort and for their generous gift, which will be used to educate and inspire generations of creative writers, authors, and scholars."