Renée Schine Crown is one of Syracuse University’s most esteemed alumnae. She graduated from Syracuse University with a B.A. in fine arts in 1950. Moving to Chicago shortly after graduation, she and her husband Lester Crown began lives of exemplary public service that have proved models of civic engagement.
In the 1980s, Crown recognized the need for a student center at Syracuse and spearheaded the effort to establish the Schine Student Center. The primary funding for the center came from her gift in honor of her parents, Hildegarde and J. Meyer Schine. She continued her work on behalf of the University, serving the Board of Trustees on its Executive Committee and University Relations Committee, and on the College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors. She played a major role in the University’s “Campaign for Syracuse” and “Commitment to Learning” campaigns in the 80s and 90s.
At the same time, Crown played a noteworthy role in philanthropy in Chicago, providing leadership that helped a variety of organizations realize their full potential. She is a founding member and former president of the Women’s Board of Northwestern University and a life director of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. She serves on the Boards of WTTW/Channel 11 Public Television, Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, the Chicago Lyric Opera, The Field Museum, the Joffrey Ballet, and has been Honorary Chair of the Board of the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, to name just a few of her important endeavors.
For this work and for her continuing commitment to Syracuse University, she has received the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumnae Award, the George Arent’s Pioneer Medal, and the Chancellor’s Medal for Outstanding Achievement. In 1984, she received an honorary doctorate from Syracuse University. On the occasion of her retirement from the University Board of Trustees, the Honors Program was named the “Renée Crown University Honors Program” in recognition of her outstanding contributions to Syracuse. Funds contributed in her honor on that occasion support a number of scholarships, typically of $5,000, that make it possible for students to pursue an extraordinary range of research and creative ventures relating to their Capstone Projects. We are deeply grateful for all that is now possible for Honors students as a result of her efforts.