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Alma Mater Announces New Project: Center for Public Service

March 27, 2007

Loyola University Chicago announced the opening of a new “academic unit” today: a Center for Public Service. Here are some excerpts from the news release:

– “Loyola University Chicago announced today the creation of a new academic unit, the Center for Public Service, and the receipt of the congressional papers and archives of retired Congressman Henry J. Hyde. The newly created center will also house the papers of former Congressman Dan Rostenkowski, who donated his archives to the University in 1995.”
– “Anchored by the government archives of these prominent Illinois statespeople, the center, a non-partisan academic unit, will primarily focus on leadership, highlighting the impact that individual men and women can have upon a civil society through their dedication to public service. It will also sponsor non-partisan research and discourse on relevant public policy issues, while emphasizing the legacies of a number of public servants, rather than one particular individual.”
– “Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., president, Loyola University Chicago, [said:] ‘The number of college graduates who are interested in working in government today is alarmingly low according to the Pew Research Center, and through this center we hope to inspire and encourage young people to learn more about the importance of public service in a free society.’ “
– “Functioning much like a presidential or congressional library, the center will concentrate on five main program areas: sponsoring research and scholarship; hosting special exhibits, conferences, a speaker’s series, and workshops; publishing newsletters and journals; sponsoring public outreach programs focused on civic education and public discourse; and engaging Loyola’s alumni network in a comprehensive internship and career services program. The center will also fulfill the following functions:
— Serve as an archive and a resource for scholars for personal papers and documents relating to individuals who have had careers of public service, especially those with a connection to Loyola or Chicago;
— Organize public programs related to individuals, events, or issues addressed by its permanent collection and archives, including but not limited to lectures, conferences, and seminars;
— Sponsor public series on public service (e.g., a major annual public lecture by a significant public figure, a biennial academic conference, a topical lecture series aimed at students and/or the community);
— Host non-partisan blue ribbon panels, private conferences, and symposia which explore solutions to regional, national, and international public policy issues;
— Sponsor student experiences (especially undergraduate) designed to foster in students a desire to pursue careers in public service; this will include student organizations (Inside Government), internships, research projects, etc.;
— Serve as an organizational base for University-wide activities by schools and centers to develop an ethic of public service in our graduates.”

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I’m impressed. I knew Loyola held the Rostenkowski papers (not yet available for public research – as far as I know), but I had no idea that Henry Hyde was on deck as a donor.

This is quite a boon to political and intellectual historians in the Chicago area. Hyde and Rostenkowski, polar political opposites (to me at least), were in the middle of seminal events from the 1970s to the present. Those involved in thinking about the history of Chicago and Illinois should benefit as well.

I wonder who has first dibs on the papers of Mayor Richard J. Daley? I wonder also who holds his father’s papers? – TL

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