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University of Iowa News Release

 

Dec. 14, 2006

UI Chicago Center Now Open In The Loop

The University of Iowa's new Chicago Center has opened in the heart of The Loop to provide better service to an area that's home to almost one-third of UI's undergraduate students and more than 21,000 alumni.

The center is on the 27th floor of 150 North Michigan Avenue and provides Chicago area residents with additional higher education resources, said Gary Fethke, University of Iowa interim president.

"Chicago is already an enthusiastic Big 10 city, and our new Chicago Center makes it even more so by adding another Big 10 presence," said Fethke, under whose initiative the center was developed. "Now, with the University of Iowa's location in the heart of downtown, Chicago area residents have another resource for information about advancing their educations and their careers."

Tom Rocklin, UI associate provost for undergraduate education, said the center will serve the university in many capacities. Its primary purpose is to recruit high-quality students to the University of Iowa from Chicagoland high schools, and to help University of Iowa students and alumni find internship and career opportunities with employers in the Chicago area.

Rocklin said that Chicago has always been fertile ground for University of Iowa student recruitment. This year, 33 percent of the university's incoming first-year students came from Chicago and the surrounding cities.

"The Chicago Center will provide the kind of permanent presence in the region that will help us recruit an even better prepared and more diverse group of students to the university," said Rocklin. "More than 50 percent of our minority student applications in 2005 were from Illinois and 30 percent of enrolled minority students come from Illinois.

"In addition, the center will help develop a network of employers in Chicago's thriving global business community to create leads for students looking for internships, and for graduates looking to start their careers," he said.

Rocklin pointed out that with more than 21,000 alumni living there, the Chicago area has the highest concentration of UI graduates in the country. He said the Chicago Center can help coordinate alumni events and provide alumni with additional career services.

"The center will also be used to support Consider Iowa, the state of Iowa's initiative to help Iowa expatriates return to their home state," said Rocklin. "For instance, we can use the space to host get-togethers for Iowans interested in returning home, or connect expatriates with employers in Iowa."

The center, which receives support from private funds, will be managed by two co-directors, Emily Ruby and Erin Bergan Bloomquist. Both are experienced in corporate recruiting, college admissions, career development and event coordination.

"Emily and Erin both have close ties to Iowa, and both have lived in the Chicago area for many years, so they have an understanding of both places to help our students, prospective students and alumni," said Rocklin.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

WRITER: Tom Snee

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott, 319-335-0552, steven-parrott@uiowa.edu