According to a statement from the company, "the name change is being made in recognition of a personal gift of unprecedented generosity from two pillars of Chicago's philanthropic community." The amount of the donation was not stated.
Mr. Ryan is the founder and executive chairman of Aon Corporation, an insurance and human resources consulting company.
Founded in 1974 (under its previous name), the Ryan Opera Center is currently directed by former coloratura soprano Gianna Rolandi. Among the program's alumni are Elizabeth Futral, Harolyn Blackwell, Nicole Cabell, Guang Yang, Nancy Maultsby, Robynne Redmon, Matthew Polenzani, Gregory Kunde, David Cangelosi, Mark S. Doss and Donald Kaasch.