Beckman Institute to use $5 million donation for fellowship, lecture series

By Daily Illini Staff Report

The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology received a $5 million donation to fund postdoctoral fellowships as well as a lecture series in honor of Arnold Beckman and Ted Brown, two founding members of the Beckman Institute.

The donation was made by the Arnold/Mabel Beckman Foundation.

The Beckman-Brown Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowship will be awarded to a postdoctoral researcher each year and will provide funding to them for three years. The Annual Beckman-Brown Lecture on Interdisciplinary Science will be a series aimed at advancing the interest and work done in interdisciplinary sciences.

The first fellowship will begin in 2016 and the lecture series is set to kickoff in April 2016.

Maeve Reilly, the Beckman Institute communications director, said there hasn’t been any specific material planned for the lecture series yet but content will be decided under the discretion of Arthur Kramer, director of the Beckman Institute.

Ted Brown, the first director of the Institute, initially proposed the institute as a place where researchers from all departments could come and work together. According to Reilly, this was a revolutionary idea at the time.

“Brown came up with the proposal to bring both sides of Green Street together,” Reilly said. “The north side is traditionally more engineering departments and the south side is more of the humanities and social sciences.”

In 1985, Arnold Beckman, along with his wife Mabel, donated $40 million to the University to create the Beckman Institute. It was the largest donation to a public university at the time.

The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology boasts housing for over 1,500 researchers from more than 40 University departments. Researchers study everything from psychology to computer engineering and work across four research themes.

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