NFT Map: 19
Mailing Address: Edward H. Levi Hall, 5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
Website: www.uchicago.edu or @UChicago
Enrollment: 15,000 (2014)
Endowment: $6.7 billion (2013)
Located amid the pleasant tree-lined streets of Hyde Park just seven miles south of downtown Chicago, the University of Chicago is a world-renowned research institution with a winning tradition in Nobel prizes. More than 80 Nobel laureates have been associated with the university as faculty, students or researchers. The university prides itself on its rigorous academic standards and top-ranked programs, while its students thrive in an environment that encourages creative exploring, taking risks, intellectual rigor, and determining the direction and focus of one's own education.
While its business, law, and medical schools are renowned for cranking out brainy gurus with assembly line efficiency, the university also has a long alumni list filled with artists, writers, politicians, film directors, and actors. To name a few: Studs Terkel, Sara Paretsky, Carol Moseley-Braun, Kurt Vonnegut, Susan Sontag, David Auburn, Ed Asner, Saul Bellow, Katharine Graham, Philip Glass, Saul Alinsky, Paul Goodman, Mike Nichols, and Second City improv theater founders Bernard Sahlins and Paul Sills.
Established in 1890, the University of Chicago was founded and funded by John D. Rockefeller. Built on 200 acres donated by Marshall Field and designed by architect Henry Ives Cobb, the university's English Gothic buildings of ivy-clad limestone ooze old money and intellectual achievements. Rockefeller described the university as "the best investment I ever made." We just hope parents footing the bill for their kids' education feel the same.
The University of Chicago operates on a trimester schedule rather than the more common two-semester academic year. Chicago has about 15,000 students, 5,000 of which are undergraduates. About 2,000 of the graduate students attend classes at the downtown riverfront campus Gleacher Center (450 N Cityfront Plaza Dr, 312-464-8787; www.gleachercenter.com), where the popular Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies holds most of its continuing education classes.
Undergraduate tuition is inching up toward $50,000 a year, not including room and board, although the university makes an effort to graduate two-thirds of its students debt free.
A long time ago, the famous nickname "Monsters of The Midway" belonged to The University of Chicago's football team (not "da Bears"), and the institution garnered football trophies right along with Nobel Prizes. The Maroons racked up seven Big Ten Football championships between 1899 and 1924, but the gridiron glory of yore faded and losing teams became the norm. The bleachers at Stagg Field, where fans once flocked to witness athletic triumphs, earned more fame as the site where Enrico Fermi and university scientists split the atom on Dec. 2, 1942. Four years later, President Robert Maynard Hutchins put in the university's walking papers from the Big Ten and abolished the football team. Perhaps this was a step towards prioritizing scholarly pursuits over athletic achievement, however the catastrophic results of the "controlled release of nuclear energy" might be to blame. But the school hasn't totally abandoned sports. Varsity football, reinstated in 1969, is back, albeit in a different form. UChicago is a member of NCAA Division III's University Athletic Association and hosts 19 varsity athletic sports in a conference comprised of some of the nation's leading research institutions, and since 1990 has won team championships in men's basketball, women's cross country, football, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's indoor track & field, and wrestling. The campus also boasts over 45 club sports and hundreds of intramural teams.
Culture on Campus
The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts is the University of Chicago's state-of-the art multidisciplinary arts center. Opened in 2012, the 184,000-square-foot building integrates a dynamic mix of spaces to create a rich environment for arts and scholarship for the university, the South Side and greater Chicago. Visit logan.uchicago.edu for the calendar of events.
The Robie House, located at 5757 S Woodlawn Ave, is Frank Lloyd Wright's residential ode to all things horizontal and structurally organic (312-994-4000; flwright.org). This Prairie-style masterpiece is considered one of the most important buildings in the history of American architecture. Adult tickets cost $17, students and seniors pay $14.
Two must-see but often overlooked free museums on campus are the Oriental Institute Museum (1155 E 58th St, 773-702-9520; oi.uchicago.edu or @orientalinst) and the Smart Museum of Art (5550 S Greenwood Ave, 773-702-0200; smartmuseum.uchicago.edu or @SmartUChicago). Showcasing ancient treasures from university digs since the 1900s (and yes, Indiana Jones did his undergraduate studies at U of C), the Oriental Institute houses permanent galleries devoted to ancient Egypt, Nubia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, the ancient site of Megiddo, along with a rotation of special exhibits. The Smart Museum boasts a permanent collection of 10,000 fine art objects spanning five millennia of both Western and Eastern civilizations--so yes, it'll be enough to look at for that afternoon you have to kill.
To satisfy your inner cineaste, take in a picture show at Doc Films (Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E 59th St, 773-702-8574; docfilms.uchicago.edu or @DocFilmsChicago), the largest continuously running student film society in the nation. The screenings at their state-of-the-art theater range from foreign art house fare to documentaries to Hollywood classics, and feature companion lectures and Q&A with professors, actors, directors, and producers. If you're jonesing for a music fix, University of Chicago Presents is one of the city's landmark classical music presenters and features a variety of performers in the elegant, Victorian-style Mandel Hall (chicagopresents.uchicago.edu or @chicagopresents).
The university's Equity playhouse Court Theater continues its national reputation of staging critically acclaimed contemporary and classical productions by renowned playwrights (5535 S Ellis Ave, 773-753-4472; www.courttheatre.org or @courtchicago).
Department Contact Information
Undergraduate Student Admissions: 773-702-8650
Divinity School: 773-702-8200
Booth School of Business: 773-702-7743
Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies: 773-702-1722
Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies: 773-702-8400
Law School: 773-702-9494
Pritzker School of Medicine: 773-702-1939