Ill. --- A new gift from Paul Sagan, a Northwestern Board of Trustees member,
and his wife, Ann Burks Sagan, will help talented future journalists get
financial help to pursue a graduate degree at the Medill School of Journalism,
Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University.
The $1 million gift will establish the Sagan Graduate Fellowships in Journalism
and Media at Medill.
“Talented prospective students interested in a graduate degree from Medill
should not be impeded by financial need,” said John Lavine, who stepped down in
August after six years as dean of Medill. “This gift provides important future
support to Medill’s greatest area of need, and it offers significant benefits
to both the fellowship recipients and the University.”
The gift reflects one of the four pillars of Northwestern’s strategic plan:
Connect our community. The University is focused on connecting individuals from
widely diverse backgrounds and life experiences to create a vibrant, inclusive
“The Sagans’ generous gift will enable prospective students who might not
otherwise be able to join the Northwestern community to now attend a school
that is among the best in the world,” said Robert E. McQuinn, vice president
for alumni relations and development at Northwestern.
Medill is internationally known for its innovative training in reporting and
telling stories, producing interactive and multimedia content, experimenting
with technologies and discovering what audiences need to be better informed.
Graduate students often participate in innovative team projects to solve real
problems for and with media organizations.
“We want to make sure the most talented students, regardless of their economic
backgrounds, are able to attend Medill and enter the field of journalism
prepared to understand and explain today’s interconnected world,” said Paul
Sagan, who serves as a co-chair of the board of advisors for Medill, from which
he received a bachelor’s degree in 1981. “Ann and I are strong supporters of
Medill and we want to help these students have the opportunity to experience
all that Northwestern can offer.”
Sagan, a former journalist, is the president and chief executive officer of
Akamai Technologies, Inc., a company that offers cloud-computing services that
help enterprises with the delivery, performance and security of their online
content and applications. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences, he has spent most of his career leading technology companies and
media businesses. Previously, Sagan was senior advisor to the World Economic
Forum on information technologies for multinational corporations, and he was
president and editor of new media at Time Inc.
“Paul’s wise counsel as a trustee and his support for Medill over the years
have been invaluable to Northwestern,” said Northwestern President Morton
Schapiro, “and we’re especially grateful for his and Ann’s philanthropic
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