Just like the Sears Tower, Comiskey Park and the John Hancock Center before it, the Museum of Science and Industry has been bestowed with a new name that most longtime Chicagoans will probably ignore. The Chicago Tribune broke the news that the Hyde Park institution has received a $125 million gift (the largest in the museum's history) from local hedge fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin. MSI plans to honor the sizable donation by renaming itself as the Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry.
While the new name was accepted via a vote by the museum's board, it will take a while for it be reflected throughout the museum, not to mention on its website, marketing materials and anything else that bears the institution's identity. MSI president David Mosena told the Tribune that it "could take a year or more" to fill out the paperwork and officially transition to the new moniker.
What will the South Side museum do with $125 million? According to a release, the money will be used to "help secure the institution’s long-term financial future," which likely means that funds will be used for building upkeep, new exhibitions and attracting first-time visitors to the institution. MSI revealed that a portion of the financial windfall will be used to create a new exhibition called "Pixel Studio," described as "a state-of-the-art digital gallery and performance space that will be the only experience of its kind in North America."
Hopefully the museum will come up with a way to make its new name less of a mouthful. "The Griffin" has a nice ring to it, but let's be real: Most people will still refer to it as "MSI."