Report: University explores bid for Obama presidential library

The University of Illinois at Chicago is beginning a push to convince President Obama to bring his future presidential library to the school’s campus, according to a report from USA Today.

UIC spokesman Bill Burton confirmed to the paper that the university is forming an exploratory committee to consider bidding for the president’s library and museum.

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The school did not share details on who would form the committee.

Presidential libraries and museums which host the commander-in-chief’s records and play a key role in promoting their legacy can often spur millions in economic development.

Obama’s connections to both Hawaii, where he was born, and Illinois, where he first entered politics, has sparked speculation about the future site.

In an interview earlier this year Obama said only that it would be a “tough choice, but it’s not one that I’ve made up yet.”

“Honolulu is my birthplace,” he said in an interview. “It’s the place where I grew up, and I’ve got so many friends and fond memories, and it helped to shape me, so I’d like to find a way that after my presidency that connection remains. But I live in Chicago now, and that’s where I grew up professionally.”

Other universities have also expressed interest. 

In May, Chicago State University formed a committee to explore hosting the site.

The University of Chicago, where Obama taught as a law school professor, said that it was too early to launch a bid, but school representatives have met with officials at other presidential libraries, according to reports.

The University of Hawaii also launched a public campaign earlier this year, the Hawaii Presidential Center Initiative, in hopes of bringing Obama’s museum and library to Honolulu.