The Roosevelt legacy lives on at Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois despite the passage of more than a half century. It is not unusual for schools from primary, middle, and secondary through even to college level to be named for former leaders of our nation. For example just consider how many John F. Kennedy Schools there are in our nation beginning with elementary schools and going right up through the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Massachusetts. Among the many namesake schools one that sometimes passes below the radar, except locally perhaps is Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. Named not for the first President Roosevelt, Theodore but rather for his relatives Franklin and Eleanor, the Roosevelt legacy lives on at Roosevelt University Chicago, Illinois.
In some ways the founding of Roosevelt University was in many ways at odds with the way in which Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt pursued political power in the U. S. The Roosevelts both came from a pedigree that guaranteed them notice at least on the local social scene and in the case of Franklin throughout the state of New York. The Roosevelt family of which both were members ( though distantly related ) was well established, well educated and well healed. By contrast when enthusiasts gathered to establish Roosevelt University in 1945, they were armed primarily with very good intentions and dreams but had, according to http://www.roosevelt.edu “no campus, no library and no endowment.” To say the first few years were lean ones is an understatement at best.
The driving philosophy behind the foundation of the school was the goal of providing quality education at the college level for all qualified students regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or religion. Lending support in the early days was an advisory board that could claim as members Ralph Bunche, Pearl Buck, Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann among many luminaries. Naming the school for Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt was a public way of commemorating the work done by the Roosevelts in advancing the democratic ideals and attracting support and students.
To provide education to a diversified student body requires a stubborn dedication to purpose. More than 50 years after it was named, Roosevelt University continues to work to help qualified young people across the full spectrum of society. To meet the needs of its student body of some 7,000 students many of whom are working part or full time, the school provides class options from early morning through to evening sessions and on weekends.
Students who come to Roosevelt University may come be pursuing one of large number of college majors but they also find that at Roosevelt University many of the courses represent cutting edge classes. Programs of study are offered in the Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Performing Arts. The fact that Roosevelt University sits on two campuses one of which is in urban Chicago means that students often benefit from collaborative work with other institutions, businesses and organizations that are located in Chicago.
But for many students coming to Roosevelt University in Chicago is all about being part of the Roosevelt legacy and taking in part in studies that prepare them to be active advocates of social justice in many diverse fields. From the beginning Roosevelt University has been more about collecting college credits or achieving degree status. Eleanor Roosevelt herself dedicated the Roosevelt University in Chicago in her own words ” to the enlightenment of the human spirit” . This is what inspires students to come here, not a top notch football team or historic halls of learning. Just as some schools take their underpinning from spiritual sources, so too Roosevelt University was founded upon the principles of equality and social justice even in 1945. From its president to its alums and current students the Roosevelt legacy provides the basis upon which educational dreams can become reality.
A sign of the success of many colleges and universities are the stories of those who have gained their college degree at a particular university. Roosevelt University’s list of alums is a great source of pride to the the school but also can encourage students who are thinking about applying here Among graduates of Roosevelt University one can find the names of well known children’s book author Shel Silverstein; LeRoy Martin, chief of police for the state of Illinois; Reginald Weaver, president of the National Education Association; Anthony Braxton, jazz performer and composer and Melissa Bean, U. S. Congresswoman. Success at Roosevelt University is an accomplishment opened to all. For a man who served as President of the U. S despite his physical handicap and a woman who broke many boundaries for females around the world, Roosevelt University would likely be seen with a great deal of personal and national pride. To check out over at write my paper