George Lucas and Mellody Hobson could possibly be the most generous couple in the US right now. They’re donating $25m to the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools bringing their total donations to Chicago Institutions to more than $50m.
At Hobson and Lucas’ request, the building will be named the Gordon Parks Arts Hall in honor of Parks, the first African-American staff photographer for Life magazine and later the first African-American to direct a major Hollywood movie, his most famous film being 1971’s “Shaft.”
Rogers said he believes the arts hall will be the first building on the University of Chicago campus named after an African-American. Hobson and Lucas declined an interview request, but the university provided statements from both.
“It was important to us that the University of Chicago campus have a building named for an African American, given the diverse community in which it sits, and the outstanding contributions to our society by people of color,” Hobson said.
And from Lucas: “We believe in the power of art to transform lives and communities. Gordon Parks’ work did just that.”