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updated: 8/19/2014 10:57 PM

Roosevelt in Northwest suburbs for nearly 40 years

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The story of Roosevelt University began in Chicago at the end of World War II, but it wasn't long before the school reached out and found a home in the suburbs.

The university established a presence on the North Shore in the 1950s before gradually moving west, university President Chuck Middleton said Tuesday.

Roosevelt reached the Northwest suburbs in 1978, when it opened a location in the former North School on Arlington Heights Road, today home to the Arlington Heights Park District, according to research by Jane Rozek, local history librarian at the Schaumburg Township District Library.

Roosevelt moved again in 1986, occupying a wing of the former Forest View High School in Arlington Heights. Once that facility was outgrown a decade later, the university moved to the former Unocal office complex on McConnor Parkway in Schaumburg, just north of Golf Road and Woodfield Mall.

Roosevelt spent about $21 million to buy and renovate the facility, giving it the look and feel of a university campus for its grand opening in August 1996.

The philosophy for most of the past two decades was for the Chicago and Schaumburg campuses to mirror each other's programs. But the College of Pharmacy that opened in Schaumburg in 2011 was a major step toward differentiating the two, Middleton said.

Middleton announced this week that the College of Pharmacy will be Roosevelt's only educational program to remain at the suburban campus. The rest of the site will be leased to other organizations.

"We have a great facility we've invested a lot of money in," he said.

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