One of the most important issues concerned the location of the campus. The University administration favored a suburban site at Miller Meadows, while Mayor Daley preferred a location at the Railroad Terminals. Neither site proved available, however, so as a compromise Daley in 1961 offered Harrison-Halsted, then a federal urban renewal site. The Harrison-Halsted site was easily accessible to public transportation and the new expressway system. (Photo credit: UIC University Archives).
The architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill planned the campus, preparing alternative site plans for a university of approximately 32,000 students by 1970. Architect Walter Netsch, of Skidmore, had designed the U. S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and led the team that created Circle Campus. He designed like a drop of water, the center of which was the Circle Forum. The surrounding rings consisted of lecture halls, classroom clusters, the library and the student center, laboratories and offices. In order to accommodate the projected 32,000 students in a limited area of approximately 100 acres, Netsch designed a circulation system of second-story walkways. The design later won an award from the American Institute of Architects. Photo by Orlando Cabanban.
Circle students were often the first in their families to attend college, and Circle provided the opportunity through low tuition and scholarships. Future CNN anchor Bernard Shaw received a scholarship in 1966 from the Chicago Ambassador Program, to spend the summer in South America. Shaw has since endowed several scholarships for UIC students. (Photo credit: UIC University Archives).
Because Circle campus was on the quarter system, classes were not in session during the the 1968 Democratic Convention, although fallout from the rioting continued to agitate the campus well into the following year. (Right, photo credit: UIC University Archives).
The Chicago Seven Conspiracy trial began in the fall of 1969,and continued for four and a half months. That fall, defense attorney William Kunstler appeared in the Circle Forum to help shape student opinion on campus in favor of the larger anti-war movement. Left, photo by George Philosophos.
On September 1, 1982, the Medical Center and Circle Campus consolidated to form the University of Illinois at Chicago, making it a comprehensive research university.