WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Four applications – including one from Columbia University – have made the cut for the short list to host President Barack Obama’s future potential library.
Columbia is the only New York site to make the list. The other finalists are in Chicago and Honolulu.
The Barack Obama Foundation said four of the 13 applications submitted earlier this year made the cut. In addition to Columbia, the University of Hawaii is being invited to submit more formal proposals to host the library. So are the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Obama spent his junior and senior years of college at Columbia between 1981 and 1983, and received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the school. It is the only school on the list where he was actually a student.
Obama’s parents, Barack Obama Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham, both attended the University of Hawaii in the state where President Obama was born and grew up.
At the University of Chicago, Obama served as a lecturer and later senior lecturer at the Law School from 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004. President Obama also resided in the surrounding neighborhood and represented the area in the Illinois State Senate, and First Lady Michelle Obama served as associate dean of student services at the U of C and later as vice president for community and external affairs at the U of C Medical Center.
Obama does not have a direct past connection to the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Chicago businessman Marty Nesbitt chairs the board. He said these four groups on the short list showed a strong vision and best met the board’s criteria.
“We were amazed by the quality of responses to our Request for Qualifications and we are grateful to every institution that expressed interest in carrying President Obama’s legacy forward,” Nesbitt said on the foundation website. “These four potential partners have come the farthest in meeting our criteria and have each demonstrated a strong vision for the future Obama Presidential Library. We look forward to working with each institution to further refine their proposals over the coming months, and to presenting our recommendations to the President and First Lady early next year.”
All the potential hosts see the library and museum as a potential driver of economic development. Before the finalists were announced, the U of C cited a study it commissioned that concluded the library would draw 800,000 visitors a year and create 1,900 permanent jobs.
The four groups now have until Dec. 11 to submit their full proposals. The board will make recommendations early next year to President and First Lady Obama and they will make the final decision.
The proposals must include details on the management of the project, site development plans, community partnerships, marketing strategies and other criteria, CBS Chicago reported.
Columbia’s bid would put the library on its new Manhattanville Campus.
The Obama Foundation has said it plans to announce a decision in early 2015.
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