Tulane has received a $1 million gift — and an additional matching-challenge grant of up to $1 million — from the TAWANI Foundation, led by Col. (IL) Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired). The gift will establish the Audrey G. Ratner Excellence Endowed Fund for American Jewry and Jewish Culture in the School of Liberal Arts.
Named in honor of Pritzker’s mother, the fund will support action-oriented programming, innovative student engagement activities and cutting-edge research, primarily through the Audrey G. Ratner Jewish Leadership Course and the Audrey G. Ratner Speaker Series.
“Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, Tulane University continues to do impressive work and prioritizes focusing on its students,” Pritzker said. “Education is such an important tool, and I’m proud to know this contribution will help others grow their understanding of American Jewish history and culture.”
“This gift greatly enhances Tulane’s capacity in a vital area of scholarship, allowing us to engage in a deeper and broader study of the Jewish experience and how it has shaped the history of our nation and world. We are most grateful to the TAWANI Foundation and Col. Pritzker for this generous support of our academic mission and students,” said President Michael A. Fitts.
A decorated paratrooper who retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel, Pritzker also served in the U.S. Army Reserve and the Illinois Army National Guard. In 1994, Pritzker founded TAWANI Enterprises. Its primary philanthropic arm, the TAWANI Foundation, supports the areas of education, gender and human sexuality, cultural and historic preservation, environmentalism, and health and human services.