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Chicago IL 60637 

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University of Chicago

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This article is about the private university founded in 1890. For a list of universities in Chicago, see Universities in Chicago. For the public university in Chicago, see University of Illinois at Chicago.
The University of Chicago
UChicago presidential seal.svg
Latin: Universitas Chicaginiensis
Motto Crescat scientia; vita excolatur (Latin)
Motto in English
Let knowledge grow from more to more; and so be human life enriched[1]
Type Private nondenominational coeducational
Established 1890
Endowment $7.550 billion (2015)[2]
President Robert J. Zimmer
Provost Eric Isaacs
Academic staff
2,205[3]
Administrative staff
14,772 (including employees of the University of Chicago Medical Center)[3]
Students 15,312
Undergraduates 5,724[3]
Postgraduates 9,588[3]
Location Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Campus

Urban

217 acres (87.8 ha) (Main Campus)[3]
42 acres (17.0 ha) (Warren Woods Ecological Field Station, Warren Woods State Park)[4]
30 acres (12.1 ha) (Yerkes Observatory)
Colors Maroon and White
         
Athletics NCAA Division IIIUAA
Nickname Maroons
Mascot Phoenix
Affiliations AAU
NAICU
568 Group
URA
CIC
Website www.uchicago.edu
University of Chicago logo.svg

The University of Chicago (U of C, Chicago, or UChicago) is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois and one of the world's leading and influential institutions of higher learning, with top ten positions in numerous rankings and measures.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

The university, established in 1890, consists of The College, various graduate programs, interdisciplinary committees organized into four academic research divisions and seven professional schools. Beyond the arts and sciences, Chicago is also well known for its professional schools, which include the Pritzker School of Medicine, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Law School, the School of Social Service Administration, the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies and the Divinity School. The university currently enrolls approximately 5,000 students in the College and around 15,000 students overall.

University of Chicago scholars have played a major role in the development of various academic disciplines, including: the Chicago school of economics, the Chicago school of sociology, the law and economics movement in legal analysis,[12] the Chicago school of literary criticism, the Chicago school of religion,[13] and the behavioralism school of political science.[14] Chicago's physics department helped develop the world's first man-made, self-sustaining nuclear reaction beneath the university's Stagg Field.[15] Chicago's research pursuits have been aided by unique affiliations with world-renowned institutions like the nearby Fermilab and Argonne National Laboratory, as well as the Marine Biological Laboratory. The university is also home to the University of Chicago Press, the largest university press in the United States.[16] With an estimated completion date of 2020, the Barack Obama Presidential Center will be housed at the University of Chicago and include both the Obama presidential library and offices of the Obama Foundation.[17]

Founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and wealthiest man in history John D. Rockefeller, the University of Chicago was incorporated in 1890; William Rainey Harper became the university's first president in 1891, and the first classes were held in 1892. Both Harper and future president Robert Maynard Hutchins advocated for Chicago's curriculum to be based upon theoretical and perennial issues rather than on applied sciences and commercial utility.[18] With Harper's vision in mind, the University of Chicago also became one of the 14 founding members of the Association of American Universities, an international organization of leading research universities, in 1900.[19]

The University of Chicago is home to many prominent alumni. 89 Nobel laureates[20] have been affiliated with the university as visiting professors, students, faculty, or staff, the fourth most of any institution in the world. In addition, Chicago's alumni include 49 Rhodes Scholars,[21] 21 Marshall Scholars,[22] 9 Fields Medalists,[23] 13 National Humanities Medalists,[24] 13 billionaire graduates, and a plethora of members of the United States Congress and heads of state of countries all over the world.[25]

History

Historical Coat of arms of the University of Chicago
An early convocation ceremony at the University of Chicago

Founding–1910s

The University of Chicago was created and incorporated as a coeducational,[26] secular institution in 1890 by the American Baptist Education Society and a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller on land donated by Marshall Field.[27] While the Rockefeller donation provided money for academic operations and long-term endowment, it was stipulated that such money could not be used for buildings. The original physical campus was financed by donations from wealthy Chicagoans like Silas B. Cobb who provided the funds for the campus' first building, Cobb Lecture Hall, and matched Marshall Field's pledge of $100,000. Other early benefactors included businessmen Charles L. Hutchinson (trustee, treasurer and donor of Hutchinson Commons), Martin A. Ryerson (president of the board of trustees and donor of the Ryerson Physical Laboratory) Adolphus Clay Bartlett and Leon Mandel, who funded the construction of the gymnasium and assembly hall, and George C. Walker of the Walker Museum, a relative of Cobb who encouraged his inaugural donation for facilities.[28]

Organized as an independent institution legally, it replaced the first Baptist university of the same name, which had closed in 1886 due to extended financial and leadership problems.[29] William Rainey Harper became the modern university's first president on July 1, 1891, and the university opened for classes on October 1, 1892.[29]

The business school was founded in 1898,[30] and the law school was founded in 1902.[31] Harper died in 1906,[32] and was replaced by a succession of three presidents whose tenures lasted until 1929.[33] During this period, the Oriental Institute was founded to support and interpret archeological work in what was then called the Near East.[34]

In the 1890s, the University of Chicago, fearful that its vast resources would injure smaller schools by drawing away good students, affiliated with several regional colleges and universities: Des Moines College, Kalamazoo College, Butler University, and Stetson University. In 1896, the university affiliated with Shimer College in Mount Carroll, Illinois. Under the terms of the affiliation, the schools were required to have courses of study comparable to those at the university, to notify the university early of any contemplated faculty appointments or dismissals, to make no faculty appointment without the university's approval, and to send copies of examinations for suggestions. The University of Chicago agreed to confer a degree on any graduating senior from an affiliated school who made a grade of A for all four years, and on any other graduate who took twelve weeks additional study at the University of Chicago. A student or faculty member of an affiliated school was entitled to free tuition at the University of Chicago, and Chicago students were eligible to attend an affiliated school on the same terms and receive credit for their work. The University of Chicago also agreed to provide affiliated schools with books and scientific apparatus and supplies at cost; special instructors and lecturers without cost except travel expenses; and a copy of every book and journal published by the University of Chicago Press at no cost. The agreement provided that either party could terminate the affiliation on proper notice. Several University of Chicago professors disliked the program, as it involved uncompensated additional labor on their part, and they believed it cheapened the academic reputation of the university. The program passed into history by 1910.[35]

1920s–1980s

In 1929, the university's fifth president, Robert Maynard Hutchins, took office; the university underwent many changes during his 24-year tenure. Hutchins eliminated varsity football from the university in an attempt to emphasize academics over athletics,[36] instituted the undergraduate college's liberal-arts curriculum known as the Common Core,[37] and organized the university's graduate work into its current[when?] four divisions.[36] In 1933, Hutchins proposed an unsuccessful plan to merge the University of Chicago and Northwestern University into a single university.[38] During his term, the University of Chicago Hospitals (now called the University of Chicago Medical Center) finished construction and enrolled its first medical students.[39] Also, the Committee on Social Thought, an institution distinctive of the university, was created.

A group of people in suits standing in three rows on the steps in front of a stone building.
Some of the University of Chicago team that worked on the production of the world's first man-made, self-sustaining nuclear reaction, including Enrico Fermi in the front row and Leó Szilárd in the second.

Money that had been raised during the 1920s and financial backing from the Rockefeller Foundation helped the school to survive through the Great Depression.[36] During World War II, the university made important contributions to the Manhattan Project.[40] The university was the site of the first isolation of plutonium and of the creation of the first artificial, self-sustained nuclear reaction by Enrico Fermi in 1942.[40][41]

In the early 1950s, student applications declined as a result of increasing crime and poverty in the Hyde Park neighborhood. In response, the university became a major sponsor of a controversial urban renewal project for Hyde Park, which profoundly affected both the neighborhood's architecture and street plan.[42] During this period the university, like Shimer College and 10 others, adopted an early entrant program that allowed very young students to attend college; in addition, students enrolled at Shimer were enabled to transfer automatically to the University of Chicago after their second year, having taken comparable or identical examinations and courses.

The university experienced its share of student unrest during the 1960s, beginning in 1962, when students occupied President George Beadle's office in a protest over the university's off-campus rental policies. After continued turmoil, a university committee in 1967 issued what became known as the Kalven Report. The report, a two-page statement of the university's policy in "social and political action," declared that "To perform its mission in the society, a university must sustain an extraordinary environment of freedom of inquiry and maintain an independence from political fashions, passions, and pressures."[43] The report has since been used to justify decisions such as the university's refusal to divest from South Africa in the 1980s and Darfur in the late 2000s.[44]

In 1969, more than 400 students, angry about the dismissal of a popular professor, Marlene Dixon, occupied the Administration Building for two weeks. After the sit-in ended, when Dixon turned down a one-year reappointment, 42 students were expelled and 81 were suspended,[45] the most severe response to student occupations of any American university during the student movement.[46]

In 1978, Hanna Holborn Gray, then the provost and acting president of Yale University, became President of the University of Chicago, a position she held for 15 years.[47]

1990s–2010s

View from the Midway Plaisance

In 1999, then-President Hugo Sonnenschein announced plans to relax the university's famed core curriculum, reducing the number of required courses from 21 to 15. When The New York Times, The Economist, and other major news outlets picked up this story, the university became the focal point of a national debate on education. The changes were ultimately implemented, but the controversy played a role in Sonnenschein's decision to resign in 2000.[48]

From the mid-2000s, the university began a number of multimillion-dollar expansion projects. In 2008, the University of Chicago announced plans to establish the Milton Friedman Institute which attracted both support and controversy from faculty members and students.[49][50][51][52][53] The institute will cost around $200 million and occupy the buildings of the Chicago Theological Seminary. During the same year, investor David G. Booth donated $300 million to the university's Booth School of Business, which is the largest gift in the university's history and the largest gift ever to any business school.[54] In 2009, planning or construction on several new buildings, half of which cost $100 million or more, was underway.[55] Since 2011, major construction projects have included the Jules and Gwen Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery, a ten-story medical research center, and further additions to the medical campus of the University of Chicago Medical Center.[56] In 2014 the University launched the public phase of a $4.5 billion fundraising campaign.[57] In September 2015, the University received $100 million from The Pearson Family Foundation to establish The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts and The Pearson Global Forum at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies.[58]

On May 1, 2014, the University of Chicago was named one of fifty-five higher education institutions under investigation by the Office of Civil Rights "for possible violations of federal law over the handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints" by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.[59]

Campus

The campus of the University of Chicago. From the top of Rockefeller Chapel, the Main Quadrangles can be seen on the left (West), the Oriental Institute and the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics can be seen in the center (North), and the Booth School of Business and Laboratory Schools can be seen on the right (East). The panoramic is bounded on both sides by the Midway Plaisance (South).

The main campus of the University of Chicago consists of 211 acres (85.4 ha) in the Chicago neighborhoods of Hyde Park and Woodlawn, seven miles (11 km) south of downtown Chicago. The northern and southern portions of campus are separated by the Midway Plaisance, a large, linear park created for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. In 2011, Travel+Leisure listed the university as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States.[60]

Cobb Lecture Hall, part of the Main Quadrangles, was the first and most expensive of the campus' original 16 buildings. Designed by Henry Ives Cobb (no relation to benefactor Silas B. Cobb) and constructed in 1892, it was modeled after Gothic buildings at University of Oxford.[61]

The first buildings of the University of Chicago campus, which make up what is now known as the Main Quadrangles, were part of a "master plan" conceived by two University of Chicago trustees and plotted by Chicago architect Henry Ives Cobb.[62] The Main Quadrangles consist of six quadrangles, each surrounded by buildings, bordering one larger quadrangle.[63] The buildings of the Main Quadrangles were designed by Cobb, Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, Holabird & Roche, and other architectural firms in a mixture of the Victorian Gothic and Collegiate Gothic styles, patterned on the colleges of the University of Oxford.[62] (Mitchell Tower, for example, is modeled after Oxford's Magdalen Tower,[64] and the university Commons, Hutchinson Hall, replicates Christ Church Hall.[65])

Many older buildings of the University of Chicago employ Collegiate Gothic architecture like that of the University of Oxford. For example, Chicago's Mitchell Tower (left) was modeled after Oxford's Magdalen Tower (right).

After the 1940s, the Gothic style on campus began to give way to modern styles.[62] In 1955, Eero Saarinen was contracted to develop a second master plan, which led to the construction of buildings both north and south of the Midway, including the Laird Bell Law Quadrangle (a complex designed by Saarinen);[62] a series of arts buildings;[62] a building designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the university's School of Social Service Administration;,[62] a building which is to become the home of the Harris School of Public Policy Studies by Edward Durrell Stone, and the Regenstein Library, the largest building on campus, a brutalist structure designed by Walter Netsch of the Chicago firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.[66] Another master plan, designed in 1999 and updated in 2004,[67] produced the Gerald Ratner Athletics Center (2003),[67] the Max Palevsky Residential Commons (2001),[62] South Campus Residence Hall and dining commons (2009), a new children's hospital,[68] and other construction, expansions, and restorations.[69] In 2011, the university completed the glass dome-shaped Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, which provides a grand reading room for the university library and prevents the need for an off-campus book depository.

The site of Chicago Pile-1 is a National Historic Landmark and is marked by the Henry Moore sculpture Nuclear Energy.[70] Robie House, a Frank Lloyd Wright building acquired by the university in 1963, is also a National Historic Landmark,[71] as is room 405 of the George Herbert Jones Laboratory, where Glenn T. Seaborg and his team were the first to isolate plutonium.[72] Hitchcock Hall, an undergraduate dormitory, is on the National Register of Historic Places.[73]

Satellite campuses

The University of Chicago also maintains facilities apart from its main campus. The university's Booth School of Business maintains campuses in Singapore, London, and the downtown Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago. The Center in Paris, a campus located on the left bank of the Seine in Paris, hosts various undergraduate and graduate study programs.[76] In fall 2010, the University of Chicago also opened a center in Beijing, near Renmin University's campus in Haidian District. The most recent additions are a center in New Delhi, India, which opened in 2014, and a center in Hong Kong which opened in 2015.

Administration and finances

Hutchinson Commons

The University of Chicago is governed by a board of trustees. The Board of Trustees oversees the long-term development and plans of the university and manages fundraising effor