Four Universities are finalists to host the Obama Presidential Library
Institutions vying for the honor of hosting the Barack Obama Presidential Library have been narrowed down to four finalists: the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Hawaii, and Columbia University.
By mid December, the final four institutions are required to submit formal proposals that include community partnerships, development plans, project management and organization plans, marketing strategies and financial commitments.
Earlier in 2014, the foundation sought Requests for Qualifications from 13 applicants. They were assessed on various factors such as economic development, accessibility, and community involvement.
“These four potential partners have come the farthest in meeting our criteria and have each demonstrated a strong vision for the future Obama Presidential Library,” said Martin Nesbitt, the chair of The Barack Obama Foundation board.
President Obama has ties to each of the final locations. A Hawaii native, he completed his undergraduate education at Columbia University. After his Harvard law school years, he returned to Chicago where he worked as a community organizer. While in the Windy City, he taught at the University of Chicago law school and lived in the Hyde Park community.
The Barack Obama Foundation board is expected to share its library site recommendations with the President and the First Lady, who will make the final decision in 2015. The Obama Presidential Library will be the 14th in the federal presidential library system.
First off, I’d like to extend congratulations to the four finalists. This is a remarkable and one-of-a-kind opportunity for the chosen host site of the library. I am interested to learn how the chosen campus responds to the Obama Presidential Library, and see the great changes its presence makes in the community.