Loyola Joins America's Urban Campus
On January 11, 2015, interim University president John Pelissero signed a commitment for Loyola University Chicago to be one of the founding members of a consortium of 17 nonprofit colleges and universities in Chicago. Dr. Pelissero signed the agreement at the end of an historic meeting of university presidents that was hosted by Terry Mezany, CEO of the Chicago Community Trust. He believes that as one of the largest economic and cultural sectors in Chicago, the coming together of the colleges and universities propel Chicago as a world-class city.
The consortium is called America’s Urban Campus (AUC), a name that was chosen after a study revealed that with more than 225,000 students, Chicago is one the largest college towns in the United States. Of those students, 92,000 arrive in Chicago from someplace else which gives the higher education sector credit for recruiting more new residents to the City every year than any other endeavor. While it’s yet to be branded as such, Chicago’s student population far exceeds Boston which is a city that is well known for the allure of colleges and universities.
In addition to active students, Chicago can also boast that one in four is its residents with a college degree received that degree from an AUC member school and that one out of every 25 jobs can be attributed to a college or university. This translates to over $4.6 Billion in earnings and $10.8 Billion in spending. Perhaps we have overlooked the true economic impact of all of these colleges in our neighborhoods.
America’s Urban Campus is about more than just the stunning economic impact of the past year. The coalition plans in 2016 to study and grow the number of patents and technology start-ups that are coming out of Chicago’s universities as a way to recruit more business and job growth in our City.
Loyola will also host the International Town Gown Association’s annual conference June 4-6, 2016. The conference is expected to bring more than 400 university and municipal officials from 30 states to Edgewater and Rogers Park to study the best practices for collaborative campus-community planning.