David Logan, namesake of arts center, dies at 93

Logan was 93 years old.

By Christina Pillsbury

David Logan (A.B. ’39, J.D. ’41), benefactor of the Reva and David Logan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts and Chicago attorney, passed away from pneumonia following a heart operation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital Saturday night, according to the Associated Press. Well-known as a supporter of the arts and investigative journalism, Logan was 93 years old.

Logan was a philanthropist to the arts, serving on the Illinois Arts Council for 29 years and as the first chairman of its Arts in Education panel. He was the first recipient of the Illinois Governor’s Special Recognition Award for Distinguished Service in the Arts and Education.

In May 2007, Logan and his wife Reva gave the University a $35 million cash donation—believed to be the largest cash donation to the arts in Chicago history—to support the University’s Center for the Creative and Performing Arts. The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts is slated to open in Spring 2012.

“David Logan transformed the arts at the University of Chicago,” said Larry Norman, Deputy Provost for the Arts and Associate Professor in Romance Languages and Literature in a January 24 press release. “His vision and generosity made possible at last the dreams nurtured by generations of University students, faculty, and artists. We rest forever in his debt.”

In May, Logan carved the ceremonial first dig, with the help of his sons and head of the Board of Trustees Andrew Alper, at the site of the building. At the ceremony, his son said his family wasn’t just in the business of donating buildings. “As my dad says, ‘the building is only the beginning.’ He is interested in changing lives,” he said.

The Reva and David Logan Foundation works to fund projects in the arts, religion, community, civil society, social change, and aid to the disadvantaged. The foundation has given support to the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism Investigative Reporting Program—where Logan has a professorship named after him—and PBS-TV’s Frontline.

Logan also gave large sums to the U of C Medical Center, the Biological Sciences Division, the Humanities Division, the College and the Law School.

Logan is survived by his wife, Reva, three sons—Dan of Alexandria, VA.; Richard, of Oxford, England; and Jonathan, of Berkeley, CA.—as well as nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.