Chicago Alums OR Paretsky + Neibuhr?

So, who went where in this history of higher education in Chicago? And in Chicago Land? And why do we care?

Well, colleges and universities care for several reasons. First: they help to establish a name or a brand for the college. They accomplish it by identifying the college or university with particular sorts of people. Second, they indicate something about what you can do when (or if) you graduate. So, in order to defeat the mindset that says “liberal arts graduates are not successful in finding jobs” schools point out their successful alums, for example, in various fields. And, of course, identifying who went where (as long as we are talking about living people!) helps to keep those alums — and new ones — attached to their alma mater. More generally, by thinking about who went where, we can come to better understand kinds of colleges or universities and thus, kinds of life paths. For some, knowing the famous alum is the way to meet the college or university — and for others, people know the college or university and come to be interested in the alum.

So: this will be a feature of this blog: who went to the many many colleges and universities in Chicago and Chicago Land? There are the famous, likely the infamous, and there are certainly the relative unknowns. The same may go for the institutions themselves — and we will (eventually) get to them all. Yes, it is partly about the gossip but it is not only about the gossip.

Here are a few examples just to tickle your fancy. And, keep an eye for more (sometimes posed as challenges).

Where did the following people attend college or university?

A. Sara Paretsky

B. Steve Goodman (of “Go Cubs Go” fame)

C. Richard M. Daley and Richard J. Daley

D. H. Richard Neibuhr and Reinhold Niebuhr (for a dandy video of the latter, click here)

E. Mary Wings


Answers: (a) University of Chicago; (b) Lake Forest College; (c) DePaul University;  (d) Elmhurst College; and (e) Shimer College.

Filed under: Who Went Where?

Tags: alumni


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  • How about...
    Dr. Margaret Burroughs?
    John E. Ball - Commander Chicago Police Dept 1998–2003 ?

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