UIC announces bid for Obama presidential library

President Barack Obama

President Obama speaks at a campaign rally in January 2012 in the UIC Forum. UIC is a candidate to become the future home of Obama’s presidential library and museum. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

UIC has announced its bid to become the future home of the Obama Presidential Library and Museum.

“As Chicago’s only public research university and one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, UIC is the ideal institution to host the Obama Presidential Library and Museum,” UIC Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares said.

“Our candidacy follows the recommendation of a task force of deans, administrators and outside advisers who agreed that UIC’s diversity, research, outreach and central location make it uniquely appropriate for the library and museum honoring President Obama’s legacy.”

A steering committee, focused on UIC’s bid to bring the library and museum to campus, will oversee four committees: library/museum, architecture/site, academic programming and proposal. Each committee will include students, faculty and staff members, administrators, alumni and community members.

“I look forward to receiving further information on the president’s plans for the selection process,” Allen-Meares said.

An earlier task force, charged with determining the feasibility of a UIC bid, identified at least five potential locations for the library and museum:

  • Harrison Field
  • next to the Richard J. Daley Library
  • between Student Center East and the Science and Engineering Labs
  • adjacent to a parking lot on Morgan Street, between Taylor Street and Roosevelt Road
  • near a parking lot on Roosevelt Road near the Dan Ryan Expressway.

UIC’s research and public service accomplishments mirror Obama’s achievements in office, Allen-Meares said.

“The hallmark of the Affordable Care Act is expanded access, and UIC is committed to reducing health disparities through clinical care, research and community outreach,” she said.

The chancellor outlined other reasons the library and museum should be located at UIC, including its advancements in urban education and technology research; the archives of the late Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, located in the campus library; and Hull-House Museum, which highlights the legacy of social activist Jane Addams.

“Tremendous pride and enthusiasm for our university, our community and our uniquely American and global city have sparked our desire to be considered for the honor of serving as the site for the Obama Presidential Library,” Allen-Meares said.

“I call on all of UIC’s friends, partners and collaborators to join us in our bid for selection.”

Other announced contenders include the University of Chicago and Chicago State University.


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