EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University has a rich history when it comes to hosting presidents of the United States. Three sitting presidents have visited campus, while many more have visited Northwestern either prior to assuming or after leaving office.
As Northwestern celebrates Presidents Day, its history with America’s chief executives dates back to not long after the University’s 1851 founding, when Abraham Lincoln visited Evanston prior to his election.
“He did not make it to campus, but he was supposedly serenaded by Northwestern students,” University Archivist Kevin Leonard said.
Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Barack Obama all have visited the University while occupying the White House. Roosevelt spoke from a platform erected just east of University Hall and also visited what was then called Lunt Library in April 1903. Eisenhower received an honorary law degree in August 1954 while addressing a large crowd at the World Council of Churches on campus. Obama spoke about economic policy to a packed Cahn Auditorium in October 2014.
Other presidential connections include:
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