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Quigley, Members of Illinois Delegation Honor Roosevelt University’s 70th Anniversary

Apr 16, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) introduced a congressional resolution to honor Roosevelt University’s 70th anniversary. Rep. Quigley was joined by Reps. Bobby Rush (IL-01), Dan Lipinski (IL-03), Luis Gutiérrez (IL-04), Danny Davis (IL-07), Tammy Duckworth (IL-08), Bill Foster (IL-11) and Adam Kinzinger (IL-16). U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk sponsored the senate companion bill.

“From its founding, Roosevelt University has stood by its mission: to make higher education available to all students, regardless of their socio-economic status, racial or ethnic origin, age, or gender. For 70 years, the university has upheld the values of inclusiveness, opportunity, and social justice,” said Rep. Quigley. “In the next 70 years, I know Roosevelt will continue to provide transformational experiences and opportunities for discovery, shaping generations of socially conscious citizens. Congratulations to Dr. Chuck Middleton and the entire Roosevelt community on the university’s 70th anniversary.” 

“Seventy years ago, Roosevelt University was founded on a mission of civic and social responsibility. Over the last seven decades, Roosevelt University has remained true to those values, graduating a diverse body of students, many of whom have dedicated themselves to advancing the causes of social justice throughout our state and around the world,” said Senator Durbin. “Congratulations to the staff, the students, and the alumni of Roosevelt University on seventy years of success – I look forward to many more.”

"For 70 years, Chicago's own Roosevelt University has stood as a reminder that discrimination on the basis of religion, sex or race should never be tolerated or allowed," said Senator Kirk. "Since its founding, the University has served as a leading example of social justice in our community and I congratulate the faculty and student body and wish them success as they continue to educate the next generation."

“As a proud graduate of Roosevelt University’s School of Liberal Arts, I know firsthand the quality of education and level of commitment to its mission,” said Rep. Rush. “Congratulations to Roosevelt University for 70 years of leadership and setting the standard for  academic excellence. Roosevelt University demonstrates commitment to inclusion and transforming lives. I know the university will continue to serve its community and students for years to come.”

“I would like to join my colleagues in congratulating Roosevelt University on their 70th anniversary,” said Rep. Lipinski. “As a former educator, I know how important it is to have an institution such as Roosevelt in the region. By instilling a dedication to academic excellence in their students, they have changed families and the communities they live in for generations.” 

“For seventy years Roosevelt University has been opening its welcoming doors to all regardless of socio-economic status, racial or ethnic origin, age or gender. A Roosevelt education offers students some 116 academically excellent degree programs and an environment unashamedly dedicated to peace and social justice,” said Rep. Davis. “Never satisfied with resting on past achievement Roosevelt continues to set new standards for the truly progressive educational institution.”  

“Roosevelt University is an impeccable institution of higher education,” said Rep. Duckworth. “I am proud to have one of its campus’ in the 8th District. Through its 70 years of service the school has improved the lives of its students and the community as well. I congratulate them on reaching this milestone and I look forward to celebrating many more.”

Rep. Quigley, a Roosevelt University alum, spoke on the House floor in honor of his alma mater’s anniversary. A video and full transcript of the speech is available here

Roosevelt University was founded on April 17, 1945, when Edward Sparling resigned from Central YMCA College in protest of discriminatory practices. The new school was chartered as Thomas Jefferson College. Just two weeks later, Franklin Roosevelt died in office. In honor of his contributions to equality and democracy, the school was renamed Roosevelt College. Touched by the tribute, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt served as a source of encouragement and support for the institution and its vision, dedicating it "to the enlightenment of the human spirit." 

Roosevelt University was founded at a time when most American universities and colleges did not enroll large numbers of minority or immigrant students. It stood out as one of the first colleges in the United States to admit all qualified students, regardless of race, religion, or national origin. In the last 70 years, Roosevelt has graduated more than 95,000 students who have become leaders in their professions and careers, including the first African-American mayor of Chicago, Harold Washington.