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Nanovics donate building to ND

Nicole McAlee | Thursday, October 10, 2013

Students of political science, economics and sociology can expect a new academic home in fall 2017. A gift from Robert and Elizabeth Nanovic, the largest in the history of the College of Arts and Letters, will fund Nanovic Hall on Notre Dame Avenue, south of the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. The building will contain classrooms, faculty offices and laboratory and research space for those three departments.

John McGreevy, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, said the gift would be a “breakthrough” for Notre Dame’s social sciences.

“We’ve never had a building for the social sciences at Notre Dame,” he said. “It’s going to have great space in the building with classrooms and faculty offices and space for research, so we’re going to get the kind of student contact – where students come out of class and go right to a faculty office or right to a research lab – that we don’t always get at Notre Dame’s academic buildings. I think it could be – to use an overused word – really transformational for those departments.”

Robert Nanovic is a 1954 graduate of Notre Dame who has served on the advisory council of the College of Arts and Letters since 1993, McGreevy said.  

“[The Nanovics] are longtime and extraordinary benefactors to the University. They’ve given money for scholarships, for programs, most notably thus far for the Nanovic Institute for European Studies,” McGreevy said.  

McGreevy said the choice to combine economics, political science and sociology was aimed at consolidating the three departments into one location from buildings across campus.

These departments also share a strong connection with the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, he said.

“They’re the three departments that probably have the closest ties to our international institutes,” McGreevy said.

Professor Rory McVeigh, chair of the Department of Sociology, said he expects more interchange among the departments and the international institutes.

“I think that one of the main benefits will be bringing us closer together with colleagues in political science and in economics, but also bringing us closer together with the international institutes,” McVeigh said. “Several of our faculty members and students are affiliated with international institutes such as Kroc and Kellogg, and we are currently separated on opposite ends of the campus.”

McGreevy said the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, which was funded by a gift from the Nanovic family in 1992 and is currently housed in Brownson Hall, will move to Nanovic Hall when it opens.

“It will be neat to have the Nanovic Institute and Nanovic Hall right together,” McGreevy said.

Professor A. James McAdams, director of the Nanovic Institute, said he is very grateful that the institute will have a new location.

“We truly appreciate this extraordinary gift from the Nanovic family,” McAdams said. “Nanovic Hall will bring the Nanovic Institute to the center of campus, making it more accessible for all of our students. … Finally, we will have a permanent space to call our own.”