Financier Ken Griffin gives $125 million to MSI; museum will add his name to say ‘thanks’

The Museum of Science and Industry (Herald file photo)

By AARON GETTINGER
Staff writer

Hedge fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin, the richest man in Illinois, has donated $125 million to the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI).

“These funds will allow us to continue providing the kind of experiences and programs that MSI has become known for,” said MSI CEO David Mosena in a statement. “It will ensure that we can keep creating exhibits that open eyes and minds to what the future might hold and show young people how they can help create the world that awaits.”

The museum will be renamed the Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry, but no timetable was set as to when that would occur.

The donation will allow the MSI, 5700 S Lake Shore Drive, to create the Pixel Studio digital gallery and performance space, the first of its kind in North America.

The statement said MSI’s vision will stay the same and that “guests will continue to enjoy the kind of hands-on science learning that has been a staple of the MSI experience since we opened our doors in 1933.”

The donation will yield the second major Hyde Park institution named for Griffin. In 2017, his trust gave $125 million to the University of Chicago Economics Department, which now bears his name.

He also donated $12 million to the Lakefront Trail in 2016; signs along its route note his generosity.

Griffin, who lives in the Gold Coast neighborhood, also has been active in political donations, having given $20 million to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s (R) unsuccessful reelection campaign.

a.gettinger@hpherald.com