University of Illinois at Chicago

Legacy

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And I think his greatest contribution to the city was UIC. That was the toughest political decision. But it was the best thing.

Richard M. Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, interview excerpt, March 11, 2009

Mayor Richard J. Daley cuts a ribbon to celebrate the opening of the UIC campus, February 22, 1965. Photo: Public Information Office UICC. 086 UA90_999_0308

Mayor Richard J. Daley cuts a ribbon to celebrate the opening of the UIC campus, February 22, 1965. Photo: Public Information Office UICC. 086 UA90_999_0308

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Richard J. Daley speaks at the groundbreaking for the University of Illinois at Chicago, then called “Congress Circle” because the campus is located near the point where Congress Parkway meets the circle interchange of highways I-90, I-94, and I-290. Click on image to play video.

Video: Excerpt from “Richard J. Daley and UIC,” RJD_04_02_0000_0000_415

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Richard J. Daley speaks at an event celebrating the Tenth Anniversary of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Click on image to play video.

Video: Excerpt from “Richard J. Daley and UIC,” RJD_04_02_0000_0000_415

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The controversial site chosen for the university was just south and west of the downtown. Construction entailed demolition of residential housing and most buildings of the historic Hull-House settlement.

The "301st day" of construction of the new University of Illinois at Chicago campus

The “301st day” of construction of the new University of Illinois at Chicago campus, July 30, 1964. 086 UA90_999_0359

He always talked about it. And then, when it came to fruition, with the protestors, it was very controversial, with the march around the house, and all that they said about my dad. It was hard. But he knew in his heart that that was good, because he loved education so much. He went to night school. He didn’t have it easy. In those days, that’s what they did. And they worked very hard.

Mary Carol Vanecko, daughter of Richard J. Daley, March 5, 2009

 

 

The University of Illinois at Chicago campus under construction, ca. 1965

The University of Illinois at Chicago campus under construction, ca. 1965. 086 UA90_999_0357.2

He’d drive past when it was first under construction. I think it was based on his experience, how long it took to get his college degree, how long it took to get his law degree, and the expense of it. He was fortunate. He was an only child. His father worked. I think he saw the hardships that it brought on a lot of other students. He felt that the city and the state should put a major campus here in the city. And it had to be located somewhere where there was the best sources of public transportation. That was always his issue. Building it in the boondocks, where you had to have a car, would exclude so many kids. It had to have good access to public transportation.

Michael Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, interview excerpt, July 21, 2006

 

 

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A Chicago alderman comments on the “political courage” behind Mayor Daley’s decision to build the University of Illinois at Chicago in the city’s Near West Side. Click on image to play audio.

Audio: Ed Burke, Chicago Alderman, interview excerpt, July 22, 2014

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The opportunity for kids who couldn’t go for a full year, live in a dorm somewhere, and not have to worry about work, for a university to provide as good of an education as was possible for a student was what his dream was. And the university is well on its way to do that.

William Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, interview excerpt, December 5, 2008

Daley felt that it would enable people to more conveniently get that higher education and that they wouldn’t have to travel. And I’m sure that was one of the principal motivators.

George Dunne, Cook County Board President (1969-1991), interview except, December 16, 2003

UIC students walk to and from class, undated. Photo: Public Information Office UICC. 086 UA90_999_0194

UIC students walk to and from class, undated. Photo: Public Information Office UICC. 086 UA90_999_0194