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President Barack Obama to Visit Northwestern University

To deliver major address on economy to University, Kellogg students Oct. 2

EVANSTON, Ill. --- President Barack Obama will visit Northwestern University on Thursday, Oct. 2, to deliver a message on the economy to students at the University and the Kellogg School of Management, the White House and the University announced Tuesday.

This will be the first visit to Northwestern University by a sitting president in 60 years. The speech will be delivered at 1:15 p.m. in Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., on the Evanston campus.

“I am extremely pleased to announce that President Barack Obama will come to Northwestern’s campus in Evanston to make a major address about the economy and his plans to keep expanding opportunity for Americans,” said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro, who also is a professor of economics and an expert in the economics of higher education. “We’re excited by the opportunity to welcome President Obama to our campus.

“President Obama received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Northwestern in 2006, when he gave the University’s Commencement address. Therefore, we are particularly pleased to have him back on campus this week. I hope you will join me in wearing your purple and welcoming the president and his staff to Northwestern on Thursday,” President Schapiro said in a message to the University community.

Given the high-profile nature of the event and the limited seating in Cahn Auditorium, the University said it will not be able to accommodate everyone who wishes to come. Consequently, Northwestern will set up group viewing locations on campus. Further information will be forthcoming on that as well as other details regarding President Obama’s visit. In addition, the speech will be live-streamed on the Web at

“The Kellogg School of Management educates many of the world’s future business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs,” Kellogg Dean Sally Blount said. “I know our students will be eager to hear from President Obama on this topic.”

According to University Archivist Kevin Leonard, the last time a sitting president visited Northwestern was in 1954 when then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower received an honorary doctor of laws degree and spoke at a special event that attracted more than 23,000 people. Before that, the last sitting president to visit the University was then-President Theodore Roosevelt, who in 1903 came here on a goodwill tour of the West as commander in chief.

In 2006, before he was a presidential candidate, then-Senator Obama was Northwestern’s commencement speaker and received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University.