The University Record, January 7, 1997

$7.5 million in gifts will fund tennis, LS&A humanities facilities

By Deborah Gilbert
News and Information Services


The Tisch Foundation, Inc., has pledged $6 million to the University to support the new humanities building of LS&A. The facility will play an important role in U-M's continuing initiative to transform undergraduate education and nurture interdisciplinary scholarship. The building will be named Tisch Hall.

Preston Robert Tisch and his family also have pledged $1.5 million in support of the new tennis facility of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, which will be named the Preston Robert Tisch Tennis Building. This facility was one of the featured needs in the $1 Billion Campaign for Michigan.

"The Tisch family is pleased to invest in the future of a university that has played such a significant role in the lives of my wife, Joan, myself, and my daughter, Laurie Tisch Sussman---all of us graduates of the U-M. The study of the humanities adds depth and breadth to the educational experience, which will be greatly enhanced by providing a home for the humanities departments," Tisch said.

"Athletics also are a vital part of education," he added. "I've been a supporter of Michigan's athletic program since my undergraduate days, and I'm particularly pleased to contribute to the new, indoor tennis facility that will stand out as one of the finest in the nation. I am deeply honored that the building will be dedicated in my name."

"On behalf of the University and the thousands of undergraduate students who will pass through Tisch Hall each year, I extend sincere thanks to the Tisch family," said Edie N. Goldenberg, LS&A dean. "Tisch Hall will be the front door to the humanities at the U-M. It not only will tie Angell, Mason and Haven halls together physically but also will bring together faculties of the departments of history, classical studies, and English, and the programs in comparative literature and American culture, where they can work in a more collaborative environment."

The new tennis complex is similarly important. "The Tisch Tennis Building will be one of the finest tennis facilities in the country. The U-M has long been recognized as a national leader in intercollegiate athletics, and Michigan Varsity Tennis has helped build that tradition. The new facilities will help our players practice, condition and ultimately compete at the top of their form," said M. Joseph Roberson, director of Intercollegiate Athletics. "The facilities also will be available to intramural teams and for recreational purposes for students, staff and faculty. We are very grateful to Mr. Tisch and his family for his support."

Tisch Hall will house the history of art print study room and faculty offices, seminar rooms, and classrooms for the humanities departments and programs. The Tisch Tennis Building will house eight indoor tennis courts, team support areas, a display area for Michigan tennis history and a multi-purpose viewing area for observing tennis matches and hosting receptions.

Tisch, who majored in economics and received a B.A. from the U-M in 1948, is co-chair and co-CEO of the Loews Corp. Loews Corp. is one of the country's largest and most successful financial companies. Loews includes CNA Financial Corporation, Lorillard, Loews Hotels, Bulova, and Diamond Offshore. Tisch also owns 50 percent of the New York Giants football team.

In addition to his business interests, Tisch has a distinguished record of public service. He served as chair of the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau for 17 years and played a key role in the renaissance of New York City in the 1970s and 1980s. He also served as U.S. Postmaster General in 1986-88. He currently is president of the board of directors of Citymeals-on-Wheels in New York City and chairman of the United States Capitol Preservation Commission.

Tisch also has been a generous patron of cultural and educational projects, including the establishment of the LS&A's Preston R. Tisch Professorship of Judaic Studies in 1989. His wife, Joan, is a U-M graduate who majored in English. His daughter, Laurie, received a degree in education from U-M in 1973.