HYDE PARK — Filmmaker George Lucas and his wife, financial executive Mellody Hobson, have donated $25 million to the University of Chicago Laboratory School to have the new arts wing named after artist Gordon Parks.
The arts wing, scheduled to open in 2015 with three new performance halls, studios, rehearsal and practice rooms and a digital media lab, will be named the Gordon Parks Art Hall.
“It was important to us that the University of Chicago campus have a building named for an African-American, given the diverse community in which it sits, and the outstanding contributions to our society by people of color,” said Hobson, a Chicago native.
Parks was an artist in many disciplines who shot photos of working-class African-Americans for Life magazine, directed the movie “Shaft,” composed a concerto and choreographed a ballet.
The gift from Lucas and Hobson marks a high-water mark for the $40 million capital campaign at Lab School, which now has raised more than $80 million.
In December, the couple donated $25 million to the After School Matters program. Hobson serves as that organization's board chairwoman.
Lucas and Hobson celebrated their wedding last year with a reception at Promontory Point in Hyde Park.