U. of C. building library bid

Staff Writer

The University of Chicago has appointed a Community Advisory Board for the Barack Obama Presidential Library.

The board “is comprised of prominent South Side community leaders who, over the course of their careers, have demonstrated an enduring commitment to strengthening the quality of life on the South Side of Chicago and in the city more broadly,” the university said in a statement.

The U. of C. did not clearly state what the mission of the advisory board is.

The board includes museum CEOs, prominent pastors, historians, financial advisors and other community leaders:

  • Carol L. Adams – President and CEO, DuSable Museum of African American History
  • Timuel Black – Historian, educator, civil rights organizer
  • Byron T. Brazier – Pastor, Apostolic Church of God
  • Michelle L. Collins – President, Cambium LLC
  • Guy Comer – President, Comer Science and Education Foundation
  • Walter E. Massey – President, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • David R. Mosena – President and CEO, Museum of Science and Industry
  • Shirley J. Newsome – President, South East Chicago Commission; Board Chairman, Quad Communities Development Corporation
  • Terry Peterson – Vice President of Corporate and External Affairs, Rush Medical Center
  • Jim Reynolds Jr. – Chairman and CEO, Loop Capital
  • David J. Vitale – Chairman, Urban Partnership Bank
  • Andrea Zopp – President and CEO, Chicago Urban League

The university also appointed a faculty committee last year to examine presidential libraries and their effects on the areas in which they are placed.

“A committee of University of Chicago faculty members has examined presidential libraries and concluded in 2013 that it would be in the interest of the University to help bring such a project to the South Side,” the university said in a statement.

The following faculty members all sit on the committee:

  • Andrew Abbott, Department of Sociology
  • Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer, Department of Classics and the Program in Gender Studies
  • Kerwin Charles, Harris School of Public Policy
  • Cathy Cohen, Department of Political Science
  • Jonathan Lear, Committee on Social Thought and Department of Philosophy
  • Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, Medicine and Human Genetics
  • Randal C. Picker, Law School
  • Stephen M. Stigler, Department of Statistics and the College
  • Geoffrey R. Stone, Law School

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has stated he wants the City of Chicago to make one unified bid for the library. Last week the Barack H. Obama Foundation publicly announced it would begin the search for the location for the monument to Obama’s time in the Oval Office.

Obama’s friend and Kenwood resident Marty Nesbitt, who also worked as the treasurer on both presidential campaigns, was named to lead the Foundation. Other foundation heads include J. Kevin Poorman, who ran several companies that Penny Prtizker had led when she left to join the Obama cabinet, and Juliana Smoot, who co-chaired the 2012 presidential campaign, and acted as finance director for the 2008 campaign.

“These leaders will advise the university and its partners on the possibilities for bringing the Obama Presidential Library to the South Side of Chicago,” said university spokesman Jeremy Manier. “We look forward to the board’s advice in whatever form they choose to provide it.”