Interest in National Security Prompts Major Gift

Andrew Berlin's interest in national security prompts major gift to his alma mater

CHICAGOBUSINESS.COM / SHIA KAPOS

Andrew Berlin, a Chicago CEO and student of military history, has donated $500,000 to his alma mater, Syracuse University, to help fund the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism.

"It's been an interest of mine, especially since 9/11,” said Mr. Berlin, CEO of Chicago-based Berlin Packaging Co., which makes boxes, tubes and containers.

Two years ago, Mr. Berlin gave $500,000 to the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse for an endowed chair in the name of his favorite college professor, David Bennett.

At that time, Mr. Berlin said, "I'm at the point in my life where I can say thank you in a meaningful manner, and also address and assist in the important study and research of national security and counterterrorism issues. Regardless of politics and perspective, very little matters in our country if we don't have strong national security."

Today, Mr. Berlin said he's intrigued by the institute's work in everything from cybersecurity to helping veterans transition from military life to the corporate world.

It's not the first time Mr. Berlin has poured money into his personal interests.

A year ago, Mr. Berlin, who is a baseball enthusiast and has a stake in the Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks, bought the South Bend Silver Hawks, a minor-league baseball team in Indiana.