Cornell acquires McLennan Center in Chicago

Cornell has purchased a building that will reopen next fall as the college’s McLennan Center in Chicago.

digest-mclennancenterBecause of Cornell’s schedule, faculty and students have long been able to spend 3½ weeks studying in and exploring Chicago. Historically, however, students stayed in hotels and used public spaces for classrooms. The McLennan Center will feature a dedicated classroom and permanent living space for students and faculty. The center is made possible by a $1 million gift from Trustee Bob McLennan ’65 and Becky Martin McLennan ’64 during the college’s recently-completed Extraordinary Opportunities Campaign.

The building, located on North Seminary Avenue in the Lakeview Community, is approximately four blocks from Wrigley Field.

The facility will remain leased until the summer of 2012. At that time, the college will ready the facility for use by Cornell students in the fall of 2012.

Cornell already offers three to four classes annually that can take advantage of the McLennan Center, said Joe Dieker, dean of the college, and he’s asked faculty to develop new courses that can be held there. He said the center will likely also be used for summer classes starting in 2013, as well as Chicago alumni events.

Becky McLennan said she and her husband are pleased with the progress so far and the location of the center. “It was more difficult than expected to find the right building,” she said, “but we’re very excited about the location. We’re glad that Cornell will soon have a place to bring even more students who can benefit from what Chicago has to offer.”

Bob McLennan said they hope the center will help recruit new students, educate current students, and engage alumni. “Suddenly, Cornell isn’t 200 miles away,” he said. “It’s right in Chicago.”