Many happy returns as alumni circle back to campus

Videography by Anna Dworzecka


The day’s high temperature was 30 degrees, but there were lots of warm feelings as about 300 alumni and friends came to UIC Feb. 22 for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Chicago Circle Campus.

About half the group came from the classes of 1965 to 1982; for some, it was the first time they had returned to the scene of their college years.

“The best part of my visit on Sunday was just being back to campus,” one returning graduate said. “I spent time just walking around recalling many memories from long ago.”

The day began with a bus trip to Navy Pier, the site of the first University of Illinois location in Chicago. Before a reenactment of the 1965 ribbon-cutting that officially opened Circle Campus, everyone gathered for a reception where alumni and university dignitaries talked about the Chicago campus’ past and present.

William Daley, former White House chief of staff and U.S. secretary of commerce, recalled the essential role of his father, Mayor Richard J. Daley, in establishing a University of Illinois in Chicago.

Other activities included tours of campus landmarks and facilities and the dedication of the new Circle Reading Room in the Daley Library.

Other events are planned throughout the year for the 50th anniversary, including a special UIC concert Sept. 9 in Millennium Park featuring alumni, faculty, staff and students, and a 5K run for scholarships at UIC Open House Oct. 3.


Circle Campus Anniversary Ribbon-Cutting

Reenactment of the 1965 Circle Campus ribbon-cutting. L-R: Army ROTC cadet Allyson Urista, student trustee Danielle Leibowitz, Interim Chancellor Eric Gislason, U of I President-designate Timothy Killeen, UIC Chancellor-elect Michael Amiridis, Board of Trustees chair Edward McMillan, William Daley, Tony Podesta, Arlene Norsym and Col. William Hawes, who was onstage at the original event. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin


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