CHICAGO — The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul University, was in attendance July 31 at Columbia College in Downtown Chicago where Gov. Pat Quinn announced the disbursement of $54.8 million in capital grants to 27 metropolitan area universities and colleges, including DePaul. The grants are part of $90 million included for the current fiscal year’s “Illinois Jobs Now!” capital construction program.
In addition to DePaul, which received $7.8 million from the program, others that received grants included Northwestern ($7.2 million), Loyola ($5.7 million), Columbia College ($4.8 million), University of Chicago ($4.4 million), Illinois Institute of Technology ($3.3 million), Roosevelt ($2.9 million), Robert Morris University ($2.6 million) and St. Xavier ($2.5 million).
“Illinois is blessed with public universities across our state,” said Quinn, “and great private colleges and universities … one of the great strengths of Illinois.”
Speaking of the grants as investments, Quinn referenced today’s knowledge-based economy and stressed that “we need as many smart people as possible. And jobs today follow brain power. We have to make sure we invest in education in every which way.”
The investment in building construction on campuses across Illinois creates jobs, Quinn noted.
“These critical investments will pay dividends in jobs and our economy. Investing in higher education is one of the best strategies we have to generate creativity at our universities and colleges, prepare our students for good jobs, and allow Illinois to lead the way in new ideas and more economic growth,” Quinn explained.
“DePaul is grateful to Governor Quinn and the General Assembly for this important investment in higher education,” said Holtschneider. “It wasn't so many years ago that Illinois was in search of ‘shovel-ready projects.’ DePaul had one designed and ready to go — a classroom building. It was proud to be part of a larger state project to put people to work in the darkest moments of the economic downturn.
“We remain proud as the state’s largest private university that 18,000 of our 25,000 students come from Illinois. And, 80 percent of our graduates stay in Illinois and raise their families and pursue their careers here,” Holtschneider said.
“Quite simply, this investment in a private institution bears enormous public good and we are grateful to be part of a state that respects this contribution and assists it. To my mind, this is a win-win public-private partnership that will pay enormous dividends for all Illinoisans,” Holtschneider said. “My thanks to Governor Quinn, the General Assembly and the Illinois Board of Higher Education for your leadership."
The grant provided funding for the construction of a modern, energy efficient building on DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus that includes 47 classrooms, “all of them with the latest technology,” said Holtschneider. He added that this new classroom building — Arts and Letters Hall — which houses the departments of English and history of art and architecture, received gold LEED certification. Watch VIDEO tour of Arts and Letters