University of Illinois at Chicago Office of Public Affairs (MC 288)
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DALEY FAMILY JOINS UIC FOR LIBRARY DEDICATION
Mayor Richard M. Daley, U.S. Secretary of Commerce William Daley and family members joined UIC for the official dedication of the Richard J. Daley Library Thursday, Oct. 21.
Mayor Daley spoke movingly about the importance his parents placed on education. The Mayor noted that his father envisioned a public university for the city of Chicago while a state legislator in the 40s and was able to turn his vision into a reality after being elected mayor in 1955.
"My father knew this was the right thing to do for the people of Chicago - and he had the courage to stick with his decision and see it through to completion," said the mayor. "And today, more than three decades later, it's clear that he made the right decision."
"Our father felt that building this university, in the heart of the city, was his greatest contribution to Chicago," said Secretary of Commerce William Daley. "He wanted it here so the average child could go to college, and get a good education, at a reasonable cost .... He never forgot how important his own college education was to him - as he was the first in the family to graduate college."
Gov. George Ryan was among the speakers honoring the late Mayor Daley for his role in establishing the West Loop UIC campus.
"UIC's library is a monument to his commitment to learning," said Gov. Ryan. "There is no more fitting a leader to name a library after than Richard J. Daley. His life and legacy will inspire the students who will walk through these library doors."
Approximately 250 people attended the dedication, including city , county and state officials, as well as UIC administrators.
"Without Richard J. Daley's determination, political skill and wonderful spirit, Chicago would not be the great city it is," said University of Illinois President James Stukel. "And without his vision and support, UIC would not be here at all."
Mayor Daley believed that UIC would be key to encouraging economic growth on the city's West Side, according to his remarks at UIC's 1965 campus opening.
"Among his many amazing accomplishments, Richard J. Daley held the creation of the UIC campus as his crowning achievement," said UI Trustee Kenneth Schmidt, M.D. "He desired a quality public university - a university to serve the people. This remains our mission."
Eleanor "Sis" Daley, the late mayor's widow, unveiled a commemorative bronze plaque that will hang permanently in the library's lobby. Inscribed on the plaque is a quote from Richard J. Daley: "The role I played in establishing this campus is my greatest contribution to the life of the city."
The Richard J. Daley Library at UIC is the largest public research library in the Chicago metropolitan area. The library includes approximately 2 million volumes, 2.4 million microforms and 16,000 current serial titles, adding 40,000 volumes annually.
The library's Lawrence J. Gutter Collection of Chicagoana includes some 400 books published before the Chicago Fire, which destroyed libraries, private book collections and much of the city's printed history. In addition, the library has the first ordinances passed by the newly incorporated city in 1837; the first history of the city in book form, published in 1845; and the first annual report of the Chicago Board of Trade in 1859.
As a federal government depository, the library has an extensive map collection and more than 1.5 million documents from federal agencies.
"The library is the storehouse of the knowledge that the university strives to pass along from one generation to the next," said UIC Interim Chancellor Sylvia Manning. "It is the heart of the university."
With 25,000 students, the University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest and most diverse university in the Chicago area. UIC is home to the largest medical school in the United States and is one of the 88 leading research universities in the country. Located just west of Chicago's Loop, UIC is a vital part of the educational, technological and cultural fabric of the area.
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