Roosevelt University

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Roosevelt University
Roosevelt University.png
Motto Dedicated to the enlightenment of the human spirit
Type Private
Established 1945
Endowment $88.6 million[1]
President Dr. Ali Malekzadeh
Students 7,306
Undergraduates 4,182
Postgraduates 3,124
Location Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
41°52′34″N 87°37′29″W / 41.87611°N 87.62472°W / 41.87611; -87.62472Coordinates: 41°52′34″N 87°37′29″W / 41.87611°N 87.62472°W / 41.87611; -87.62472
Campus  Chicago and Schaumburg
Colors Green      White     
Athletics NAIA, CCAC
Nickname Lakers
Affiliations NCA
The Higher Learning Commission
Roosevelt University Logo.svg

Roosevelt University is a coeducational, private university[2] with campuses in Chicago, Illinois and Schaumburg, Illinois. Founded in 1945, the university is named in honor of both former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The university's curriculum is based on principles of social justice.

The university enrolls around 7,000 students between its undergraduate and graduate programs and is ranked #81 in U.S. News & World Report's "Midwest Universities -2012". Roosevelt is also home to the Chicago College of Performing Arts. The University's newest academic building, Wabash, is located in The Loop of Downtown Chicago. It is the tallest educational building in Chicago, the second tallest educational building in the United States, and the fourth -largest academic complex in the world. President Charles R. Middleton was inaugurated in 2002, and retired in 2015. The current president, Dr. Ali Malekzadeh, started in 2015.


The tuition of Business college suddenly increased up to 20% from fall 2015 to fall 2016.


The university was founded in 1945. Edward J. Sparling, the president of Central YMCA College in Chicago, refused to provide his board with the demographic data of the student body, fearing the board would develop a quota system to limit the number of African Americans, Jews, immigrants, and women at the school. As a result, Sparling resigned under protest. When he left, he took with him a number of faculty and students, to start a new college. Faculty voted in favor 62 to 1, and students 488 to 2 for the school.[3][4] In the beginning, the university had no library, campus, or endowment.

The new college was chartered as Thomas Jefferson College on March 28, 1945 and had financial backing from Marshall Field III, the Julius Rosenwald Foundation, the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union, and numerous other individuals and organizations. Two weeks later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt died. The college obtained his widow Eleanor's permission to rename the institution as Roosevelt College in his memory.

In 1947, the college purchased the Auditorium Building for one dollar, and it became the permanent home. The college was rededicated to both Franklin and Eleanor in 1959. Early advisory board members included Marian Anderson, Pearl Buck, Ralph Bunche, Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Gunnar Myrdal, Draper Daniels, and Albert Schweitzer. In August 1996, the university opened its Albert A. Robin Campus in Schaumburg, after a donation from Albert A. Robin, an entrepreneur and immigrant.

The institution is accredited as a Higher Education University by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It has been ranked the tenth most diverse private university in America by the New York Times and the second most diverse in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Reports.[5]


Downtown Chicago campus[edit]

Chicago classes are held within Roosevelt's historic Auditorium Building at 430 S. Michigan Avenue, blocks from the Magnificent Mile. The Auditorium Building houses the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University and numerous administrative offices for the university. A second downtown campus building is the Gage Building, located at 18 S. Michigan Avenue. It also houses the Gage Gallery and administrative offices for the College of Education, Manfred Steinfeld School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Paralegal Studies Program and the School of Communication.

Pro football's 2015 NFL Draft was held in the Auditorium on April 30, 2015, the league's first time hosting the draft in Chicago in more than 50 years.

In Spring 2010, construction began on a new building for the downtown campus, which was completed in Spring 2012. The 32-story vertical campus, the Wabash Building, is the second-tallest higher-education building in the United States and the sixth tallest in the world. It serves as a multipurpose building: housing student services, classrooms, contemporary science labs, administrative offices, and student residences. Student residences are on the top floors (14-32), with a shared lounge overlooking Lake Michigan on each floor. The university held an open house in the summer of 2012, with classes beginning in the new addition during the Fall 2012 semester.

The Lillian and Larry Goodman Center,[6] the first stand-alone facility for college athletics in Chicago's Loop, is the latest addition to Roosevelt University's downtown Chicago campus and serves as the home for Roosevelt Lakers Athletics.

Albert A. Robin Campus, Schaumburg[edit]

Roosevelt University's campus in Schaumburg is the largest four-year university in Chicago's Northwest suburbs, serving approximately 2,500 students. The campus is located in the former headquarters office building of the Pure Oil Company. Roosevelt converted the building into a comprehensive campus in 1996. The Albert A. Robin Campus is home to the Doctor of Pharmacy program, which accepted its inaugural class in July 2011. Roosevelt's PharmD program is the Midwest's only three-year, year-round program of its kind. In July 2014, it achieved full accreditation for its Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum. The campus is also home to the University's only PhD program (Industrial-Organizational Psychology), which began in August 2012.

Located on 30 acres, the Schaumburg Campus is on the north side of Golf Road Illinois Route 58 across from the Woodfield Mall and near the intersection with Meacham Road (42°03′15″N 88°02′19″W / 42.05417°N 88.03861°W / 42.05417; -88.03861). Recently, campus administrators have created prairies on sections of the land for environmental and educational purposes.


The university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through six schools: Chicago College of Performing Arts, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education, Evelyn T. Stone College of Professional Studies (formerly known as the Evelyn T. Stone University College), the College of Pharmacy, and Walter E. Heller College of Business. In addition, the university operates a variety of centers and institutes.

Student life and residence life[edit]

An architectural model of the university's newest building

Roosevelt University currently has three residence hall options, including the new vertical campus. The new Wabash building serves as housing for all incoming freshmen and transfers. The University Center of Chicago is the other main residence hall, with apartment style options.[7] It was officially opened in the fall of 2004 and is located at 525 S. State Street. The UCC houses students from Roosevelt University, DePaul University, and Columbia College Chicago, totaling 1700 residents from these three schools combined. The second residence hall is Fornelli Hall, with apartment-only options, located in the Pittsfield Building at 55 E. Washington Street, Chicago. It opened in the fall of 2008.[8] It provides apartment-style housing for upperclassmen from Roosevelt and Robert Morris Universities.[9]

The Herman Crown Center, located at 425 S. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, was the main residence hall for Roosevelt until it was closed in the spring of 2008.[10] Like the Herman Crown Center, the new 32-story vertical campus is connected to the Auditorium Building and provides direct access between the two buildings.[11]

Student activities[edit]

There are many active student organizations at both of the Roosevelt University campuses.

  • Alpha Gamma Delta Women's Fraternity: an international fraternity and a member of the National Panhellenic Conference; was installed at Roosevelt in 2008 and was the 182nd chapter
  • Alpha Phi Omega: co-ed National Service Fraternity; charter for the Alpha Phi Omega chapter was originally at Central YMCA, transferred on reactivation at Roosevelt
  • Sigma Alpha Iota: International Music Women's Fraternity. Mu Xi chapter at Chicago College of Performing Arts initiated April 2015.
  • Roosevelt Review: Roosevelt's national and award-winning literary journal.[12]
  • Black Student Union: represents the interests and concerns of black students, faculty and administration at Roosevelt University, and brings together all aspects of black student life for the purpose of improving the campus environment
  • Colleges Against Cancer: an initiative originally started by the American Cancer Society and brought to Roosevelt to educate advocacy, recognize survivors, and participate in the Relay for Life
  • Mansfield Institute Student Organization (MISO)
  • RU Green: develops sustainable practices and systems throughout campus to promote an ecologically conscious student body and to implement green methodologies throughout campus
  • RU Proud: GSM (Gender and Sexual Minority) Society: an organization that focuses on uniting students who are accepting of differences; an alliance among all gender and sexual minorities
  • RU Sociological Society (RUSS): fosters the advancement of sociological study at undergraduate and graduate levels by providing outlets for students to present research, exchange ideas, and build relationships[13]
  • Society for Human Resource Management: a gateway into the human resources profession by encouraging personal and career growth for its student members
  • Student Government Association
  • Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  • The Torch: Roosevelt's student newspaper (7,500/weekly); noted for first publishing Shel Silverstein[14]
  • WRBC The Blaze: Roosevelt's online student radio station[15]


Roosevelt University teams, known as the Lakers, compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); the university is a member of Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and tennis; women's sports include basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.

The 20,000-capacity Toyota Park is the home of the Roosevelt Lakers soccer team.

Roosevelt University revived its athletic program after a 20-year absence in 2010. Roosevelt recently added women's volleyball for the 2011-12 academic year, followed by men's golf, men's and women's soccer, and softball for the 2012-13 academic year.[16] The expansion of the university's athletics will bring the number of sport offerings from the initial seven sports to twelve.

The Lillian and Larry Goodman Center is located at 501 S. Wabash Avenue, which is the southeast corner of the prominent intersection known as Congress Parkway and Wabash Avenue. The Goodman Center is a two-story, 27,834-gross-square-foot field house featuring a multi-purpose gymnasium on the second floor and first-floor space containing offices, meeting rooms, a team lounge, locker rooms, an athletic training room and a strength and conditioning center.

Presidents of Roosevelt University[edit]

  • Dr. Ali Malekzadeh, president of Roosevelt from 2015[17]
  • Dr. Charles R. Middleton, president of Roosevelt from 2002-2015
  • Dr. Theodore L. Gross, president of Roosevelt from 1988-2002
  • Dr. Rolf Weil, president of Roosevelt from 1967-1988
  • Dr. Edward J. Sparling, president of Roosevelt from 1945-1967

In popular culture[edit]

The lobby stairwell of the Auditorium Building (430 S. Michigan Avenue) was featured in the film The Untouchables.[18] The lobby was also the set of a nightclub scene in the 2009 film Public Enemies.[19]

In the summer of 2005, the Murray-Green Library on the 10th floor of the Auditorium Building was used as a set for the film The Lake House, in which the room doubled as an architect's office.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]