Bringing the University to the City

Executive Program, Graduate School of Business, class, undated
Executive Program Class, Graduate School of Business, undated
Photograph by Stephen Lewellyn (AB 1948)

Professional Schools

With the goal of research always in mind, the University developed schools to train professionals in ministry, medicine, business, education, and law. Schools for music and engineering were also contemplated by President Harper before he died. Chicago graduates found positions nationwide, but a substantial number made their homes in the city and surrounding region. Of 27,000 alumni in the Chicago metropolitan area in 1991, 9000 were MBAs, 2000 worked in the legal professions, 1200 served as social workers, and 800 were physicians.

While the Law School faculty quickly gained a national reputation for its research on broad issues, some professors focused on improving the legal system in Chicago as well. Julian Mack, appointed to the first faculty when the Law School opened in 1902, became a Cook County circuit court judge and helped establish guidelines for the recently established juvenile court. In close association with the Chicago Woman's Club and Hull House, he helped found the Juvenile Protection Association and Immigrants' Protective League and was active in other philanthropic endeavors. Ernst W. Puttkammer, a specialist in criminal law, wrote A Manual of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure for Police (1931) for the Chicago Citizens' Police Committee and served for many years on the Chicago Crime Commission.

For over thirty years Law School students have participated in the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, which assists indigent clients with cases and allows third-year students to make appearances in state courts. In addition to providing aid to those who cannot afford it, students prepare test cases on recurrent problems in areas such as utilities regulation, government benefits, children's rights, mental health, consumer advocacy, and employment discrimination.

From its beginnings as an undergraduate program, the University's school of business was transformed in the 1940s into a full graduate institution, which aimed to train scholars as well as skilled entrepreneurs. The Graduate School of Business expanded rapidly and became known for its emphasis on the basic disciplines underlying the business environment. Research and training in management, labor relations, finance, and marketing received sponsorship from Chicago-area firms.

As early as the 1930s, the business school also sponsored downtown programs for working business people. The Executive Program was created for experienced managers who wanted to sharpen their decision-making skills and broaden their understanding of problems which extended beyond individual companies or industries. Likewise, the 190/MBA program provided younger executives with opportunities to study during evenings or weekends while working full-time. Faculty members gained by testing their theoretical assumptions against the experiences of students who were already engaged in commercial activities.

The Divinity School was formed from the Baptist Union Theological Seminary, which had been in operation for twenty-five years before the University opened in 1892. Students from other denominations were welcomed, and by 1894 the Disciples Divinity House opened to support students from that denomination at the University. Ryder Divinity House, associated with Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois, similarly helped Universalist students.

Harper advocated affiliation agreements with other denominational schools, intending to make the University of Chicago a nucleus for theological and ministry training in the Middle West. At first hesitant to accept Harper's invitation because of the "tainted" Rockefeller money at the University, Chicago Theological Seminary (Congregational) decided to move from its West Side location to Hyde Park in 1914. Meadville Theological School (Unitarian) arrived from Pennsylvania in the 1920s, following a successful exchange program with the University.

More recently, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago built a new campus on 55th Street, and McCormick Theological Seminary (Presbyterian) sold its North Side campus to DePaul University and moved into the former Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at 56th and Woodlawn. The Catholic Theological Union, the largest Roman Catholic theological school in the country, is also located in Hyde Park. This accumulation of theological institutions has not only expanded educational opportunities for students and faculty from many denominations, but has produced a substantial body of ministerial candidates for the Chicago region.

Announcements of the Federated Theological Faculty of the University of Chicago, 1958-1959

The 1943 merger of the faculties of Chicago Theological Seminary, Meadville Theological School, Disciples Divinity House, and the University's Divinity School created the largest group of theological institutions in the nation. Although this joint venture was discontinued in 1960, the schools have continued to work closely under less formal arrangements.