GW alumnus donates funds for new facility

A GW alumnus donated $1 million to establish an auditorium in the new School of Media and Public Affairs building, which is under construction, according to a University press release.

Businessman and philanthropist Jack Morton, who graduated from GW in 1936, made the contribution to the SMPA auditorium, which will bear his name, as part of GW’s Centuries Campaign. The campaign is GW’s $500 million fund-raising effort, which began in 1996 and continues through 2003.

Jack Morton has literally set the stage for the future of the School of Media and Public Affairs, GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg said, according to the press release. The development of new facilities is essential to achieving our ambitions for the University in the years ahead. Jack Morton shares GW’s vision for the future and is helping to make it a reality.

According to the press release, the 5,500-square-foot auditorium will have state-of-the-art broadcast facilities, production and recording capabilities, as well as control and projection rooms. The new facility will seat about 260 people for events such as campus productions, events and lectures.

Sharon Block, director of Development Communications, said Morton’s gift helps GW overall.

(The donation) is a tremendous help to the University to build the state-of-the-art facility, and it strengthens the school, she said.

Morton’s donation to the SMPA building was not his first contribution to GW. He and his wife, Anne, created the Jack and Anne Morton Loan Fund in the School of Business and Public Management in 1996 to help students pay for their education.

According to the press release, other contributions to GW by Morton include archival material to Gelman Library and financial support to the University’s Events Management program.

Morton founded Jack Morton Productions in 1939. The company booked comedians such as Bob Hope and Red Skelton to perform at industry-association meetings, according to the press release.

His business expanded to include a variety of corporate events, theme parties, publicity, events, video conferencing and training and multimedia productions.

(Morton) created a unique industry by staging experiences and bringing the magic of the theater to the world of the business meeting, according to The Jack Morton Company Web site.

According to the Web site, The Jack Morton Company is one of the world’s largest holding companies of marketing communications agencies and employs more than 400 people in 11 offices nationwide. According to the press release, Morton sold the company in 1998, but it continues to bear his name.

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