Columbia College Chicago

Annual Report 2011

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Chairman, Board of Trustees


A decades-long love of theatre sparked Allen M. Turner’s interest in Columbia College Chicago, where he has been chairman of the Board of Trustees since 2005.

A partner in the family investment firm The Pritzker Organization, Turner pursued his passion for the arts in the 1970s by becoming Victory Gardens Theatre’s first board chair. He went on to serve as board chair for Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and the Museum of Contemporary Art, where he oversaw construction of the building and completion of the capital campaign, which, in just five years, transformed the MCA from a storefront operation to a world-class institution.

Turner’s long history of active engagement in the Chicago arts community as a philanthropist, administrator, creator, and performer led him to Columbia College Chicago.

Turner says the college’s well-rounded, broad education in the liberal arts and sciences provides creative students with the context and breadth of knowledge that feeds their creative work and prepares them for today’s marketplace. “At Columbia, innovative ideas are celebrated, and our students’ success is measured in hard work, a commitment to academic rigor, and the willingness to take risks,” he says.

State-of-the-industry classroom facilities and small class sizes contribute to the college’s intimate, collaborative learning environment, Turner says, but the variety of people and cultures is the college’s most priceless asset: “I’m proud to say that our student body is among the most diverse found on any college campus.”