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National Louis University

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Title: National Louis University  
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Subject: Linda Holmes, Elgin, Illinois, List of colleges and universities in Illinois, Illinois Institute of Technology, Elizabeth Harrison (educator)
Collection: 1886 Establishments in the United States, Council of Independent Colleges, Education in Rock County, Wisconsin, Educational Institutions Established in 1886, Elgin, Illinois, Lisle, Illinois, National Louis University, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Skokie, Illinois, Universities and Colleges in Chicago, Illinois, Universities and Colleges in Dupage County, Illinois, Universities and Colleges in Florida, Universities and Colleges in Illinois, Universities and Colleges in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Universities and Colleges in Poland, Universities and Colleges in Wisconsin
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National Louis University

National Louis University
National Louis University, Chicago
Motto Sapientia Dignitas Temperanta [1]
Motto in English Wisdom Dignity Judgement
Established 1886
Type Private
Endowment $29.8 million (as of February 2014)[2]
President Nivine Megahed, Ph.D.
Undergraduates 1393[3]
Postgraduates 3387[4]
Location Chicago, Illinois, United States
Campus Chicago Loop, Illinois,
Elgin, Illinois,
Lisle, Illinois,
Skokie, Illinois,
Wheeling, Illinois,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
Tampa, Florida,
Nowy Sącz, Poland,
Distance Learning
Colors Platinum and blue

National Louis University (NLU) is a private non-profit [5] NLU has campuses in and near Chicago, Illinois, as well as in Wisconsin, Florida and Nowy Sącz, Poland. Many courses and programs are also offered at-a-distance . Since its founding in 1886, NLU has played a historic role in education, when it helped found the National Kindergarten Movement, and the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and stressed the importance of academic and professional training in childhood education theory and practice.[6][7]


  • History 1
  • Colleges 2
  • Downtown campus (one building) 3
  • Notable alumni 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links and sources 7


National Louis University (NLU) began in 1886, when Elizabeth Harrison[8] founded the school to train "Kindergarteners", young women teachers who began the early childhood education movement.[9] The school's requirements became a model for education colleges nationwide.[10] In 1893, the university published Harrison's book, The Kindergarten as an Influence in Modern Civilization, in which she explained, "how to teach the child from the beginning of his existence that all things are connected [and] how to lead him to this vital truth from his own observation . . .." [11]


The university's name was changed to the Chicago Kindergarten Training School (1887), Chicago Kindergarten College (1893),[12] the National Kindergarten and Elementary College (1912) and then the National College of Education (1930). The "National" part of the university's name came about when the school became the professional school of the National Kindergarten Association. The university championed the concept of kindergarten and early education teaching in America and was one of the first teacher's colleges in the country to offer a four-year program culminating in the bachelor of education degree.[5][13]

In 1913 the National Kindergarten and Elementary College campus moved to 2944 South Michigan Avenue, where it remained until moving to Evanston, Illinois in 1926.

In the 1920s, the university partnered with Nobel Peace Prize recipient Jane Addams to provide educational opportunities to the largely poor, immigrant population served by Hull House.[9][14] In 1954, the university's graduate school was accredited to offer masters and doctorate level degrees. The university organized its general liberal arts offerings into the Michael W. Louis College of Arts and Sciences in 1982, and began its business and management school in 1989, offering both bachelors and master of business administration degrees.

In 1990, National Louis united the name of National College of Education with that of trustee and benefactor Michael W. Louis. Louis’ significant gift spearheaded the transition from college to university and enabled the university to greatly expand its programs. NLU now encompasses three colleges — National College of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Management and Business. Together, they offer more than 72 academic programs, with degrees extending to the doctoral level.

In 1999, the historic 22-story Peoples Gas Building at 122 S. Michigan Avenue, built in 1910, became the flagship campus of NLU. Designed by Daniel Burnham, the university's new home housed faculty and administrative offices, a library, classrooms and computer labs.

In 2006, the university closed its former main campus in Evanston, Illinois, replacing it with its current location in Skokie.

In 2011, the university became the first in the USA to participate in a Groupon discount on course registration fees when a three-credit graduate-level course was offered for a 60-percent discount on the usual $2,232 fee.[15]

From 2011 to 2013, the university reduced its number of full-time faculty to half, through a combination of early retirements and lay-offs.[16] On April 18, 2013, the [16] The university's president, Nivine Megahed, said the university " had been "facing serious financial pressures" and the cuts " enabled the university to stabilize a multiyear decline. ".[16] On June 15, 2013, the AAUP censured National Louis for violating AAUP standards of academic freedom and tenure.[17]


National Louis University is composed of three colleges:

  • National College of Education
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Management and Business[18]

Downtown campus (one building)

NLU - 122 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

The university's downtown [5]

Lycée Français de Chicago conducts classes for tenth grade through twelfth grade students at the downtown campus on the sixth floor.

Notable alumni

  • Asheru, hip-hop musician
  • Richard Davidson, President and CEO, Century 21
  • Linda Holmes, Illinois State Senator
  • Duong Hong Ky, Vietnamese musician and writer
  • Carl Costabile, SMS Assist account manager, notable Chicago philanthropist
  • Glenford Eckleton Mitchell, Jamaican member of the Universal House of Justice, the supreme governing body of the Bahá'í Faith
  • Joe Molloy, former managing partner of the New York Yankees
  • Rodney Parker, professional American football player, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Betty Reed, State Representative, Florida House of Representatives
  • Lydia Stephens, former Executive Vice President of MSG Network

See also


  1. ^ "Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval: Latest Status Info". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved 2008-12-07. 
  2. ^ ""U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2013 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2012 to FY 2013"ValuesRevisedFeb142014.pdf " (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  3. ^,ShowBasic/Itemid,/instid,1129/
  4. ^,ShowBasic/Itemid,/instid,1129/
  5. ^ a b c "National-Louis University". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. 2005. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  6. ^ Snyder, Agnes. 1972. Dauntless Women in Childhood Education, 1856 - 1931. Washington, D.C.: Association for Childhood Education International. p. 98
  7. ^ "Early Childhood Education: Preparation of Teachers." Encyclopedia of Education. The Gale Group, Inc, 2002. Retrieved, 27 Jul. 2010 from
  8. ^ "Elizabeth Harrison (American educator) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". 1927-10-31. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  9. ^ a b "National-Louis University | History". 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  10. ^ Robert McHenry, ed. (1980). Famous American Women: A Biographical Dictionary from Colonial Times to the Present. Merriam-Webster, Inc. p. 179. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  11. ^ "The kindergarten as an influence in modern civilization : Harrison, Elizabeth, 1849-1927". Internet Archive. 2001-03-10. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  12. ^ "Facts about kindergarten: Harrison, as discussed in Elizabeth Harrison (American educator)". Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  13. ^ "Alice Putnam." Encyclopedia of Education. The Gale Group, Inc, 2002. Retrieved 27 Jul. 2010 from
  14. ^ "Elizabeth Harrison-Chicago Kindergarten Movement". 1997-07-26. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  15. ^ Lauren Hepler (September 6, 2011). "University Uses Groupon Deal to Lure New Students". The Slatest's. Slate. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  16. ^ a b c Peter Schmidt "AAUP Slams Reduction of Full-Time Faculty at National Louis U." The Chronicle of Higher Education April 18, 2013 [1]
  17. ^
  18. ^

External links and sources

  • Official website
  • Lycée Français de Chicago - NLU Campus
  • National–Louis University Online Archive and Special Collections
  • ed. Robert McHenry (Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1980)Famous American Women: A Biographical Dictionary from Colonial Times to the Present p. 179.

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