New Campus, Old Values for Roosevelt University

Article excerpt

Byline: Diana Wallace Daily Herald Staff Writer

It took a moment for Howard Winebrenner to recognize Jack Silber when the two ran into each other at the opening ceremony of Roosevelt University's new campus in Schaumburg Saturday.

Winebrenner, now 92 and living in Western Springs, was one of the founders of Roosevelt University's original downtown campus in 1945. Silber, 80, joined the faculty in 1946 and taught there for 47 years.

And as they gathered on the pristine colonnade of Roosevelt's new $21 million complex - the first new university to open in Illinois since 1971 - the two could only marvel at how much the school, and how much they, had changed in the last 50 years.

"What happened to our hairlines?" Winebrenner asked.

"They moved Northwest, just like Roosevelt," Silber responded.

Actually, Roosevelt University first moved Northwest more than 20 years ago when it began offering classes at scattered sites throughout the suburbs.

But after a decade of calling a rented wing of the former Forest View High School in Arlington Heights home, opening the new campus "is a quantum leap," said James Cicarelli, dean of Roosevelt's college of business.

"This is going to change our image fundamentally," Cicarelli said. "These are newer, better facilities, but more than that, it's our building. At Forest View, the building still really felt like a high school. It wasn't ours. There's no ambiguity here that this is ours."

Indeed, as dignitaries, officials and more than 400 guests gathered under the 80-foot-tall torch sculpture at the entrance to the campus, Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson declared that it was a new era for the village and the school.

"Today is more than an open house," Roosevelt President Theodore Gross said. …