generosity: $20 million pledged for new residence halls
Palevsky, PhB'48, SB'48-a noted art collector, campaign-finance
reform activist, and the director emeritus of Intel Corporation-has
pledged a gift of $20 million for the new, in-progress undergraduate
residence halls (see "College Report," p. 31). In recognition,
the U of C announced in June that it will name the buildings
(to open in autumn 2001) the Max Palevsky Residential Commons.
"Max Palevsky's generous commitment to the University will
make an enormous difference to generations of our students,
enhancing their world-class education with an equally fulfilling
residential life at the heart of campus," said President Hugo
F. Sonnenschein. "It is an honor to show our lasting gratitude
to Max, a friend, alumnus, and former trustee who exemplifies
the intellectual values of our university."
Designed by Ricardo Legorreta, the $53-million Palevsky Commons
will house a foreign-language media center, computer rooms,
soundproof music-practice rooms, and accommodations for more
than 700 students.
"For most students, college is the first time they've lived
away from home," said Palevsky. "In this society there often
are not sufficient structures for young people, and I trust
it will be an important thing to live in a structured, intellectual
community. I'm very happy to be able to make that possible for
future generations of University of Chicago students."
With bachelor's degrees in mathematics and philosophy from
Chicago, he added that his gift is a way "to show my appreciation
for what the University of Chicago did for me. It was the crucial
experience of my life." Palevsky was introduced to the U of
C during World War II, when he attended meteorological school
on campus as an Army officer. The son of immigrants, he grew
up in Chicago's Logan Square area. After the war, he enrolled
on the GI Bill, drawn to an environment that "gave me an enthusiasm
for all that is out there in the world."
That enthusiasm has been divided among technology, politics,
art, and philanthropy. Early in his career, Palevsky left Packard
Bell and, with 11 other scientists, founded Scientific Data
Systems in 1961; in 1969 Xerox Corporation bought the company
for more than $900 million. Palevsky went on to chair Silicon
Systems and then Daisy Systems Corporation. An investor in the
high-tech industry since the 1950s, he was a founder and one
of the first major investors in Intel Corporation, where he
served as director from 1968 until his retirement last April.
The California resident has long been active in politics, recently
making headlines after giving $1 million to support Proposition
25. Newsweek quoted him: "I am making this million-dollar contribution
in hopes that I will never again legally be allowed to write
huge checks to California political candidates." (The campaign-finance
reform initiative was defeated in March.) He also organized
Tom Bradley's first successful campaign for mayor of Los Angeles.
An art collector, he established the Palevsky Design Pavilion
at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, built an Arts & Crafts collection
at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and donated $1 million
to help establish the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.
He has maintained a close relationship with the University,
creating the Palevsky Professorship in History and Civilization
in 1972 and the Palevsky Faculty Fund in 1996. A U of C trustee
from 1972 to 1982, he also funded the Max Palevsky Cinema, the
campus movie theater and auditorium run by the Documentary Film