Mayor Rahm Emanuel to Morehouse Students: Consider the City of Chicago and Public Service

Date Released: March 20, 2018

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Urges Morehouse Students to Consider Chicago and Public Service

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

Morehouse College students should consider the city of Chicago as a place to live and work, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told a group of men of Morehouse and faculty recently.

“What we’ve been doing at other schools is exactly what we’re doing here—recruiting people with college degrees to come to Chicago,” he said. “Whether it’s in finance, film, entertainment, sales, marketing, engineering—come to Chicago.”

Emanuel’s meeting at Morehouse earlier this month was part of his larger effort to reach out to students at some of the top institutions of higher learning in the nation and pitch the Windy City as a prime, after-college destination, particularly in entrepreneurship and technology. 

Emanuel, former chief of staff for President Barack Obama, has led groups that visited institutions such as Stanford, Harvard, MIT, and the University of Illinois.

Coming out of a public-private, nonprofit partnership called World Business and its tech hub, ChicagoNEXT, Emanuel and a group of entrepreneurs in Chicago decided to reach out to some of the nation’s top colleges and universities.

“The big challenge at that time—and it still is, but we’ve minimized it—was talent,” Emanuel said to students in the room. “So, a lot of the CEOs and entrepreneurs asked if I would go on the road to big technology schools… It’s to bring our entrepreneurs and companies that are recruiting at universities that are producing talent, and then have honest interchange and explain what’s happening in the city of Chicago.

“The goal here is to … recruit people as interns, [to share] summer job efforts, and also to get you exposed to what we are doing in the technology field up close. The goal here is to expose students to what’s happening in the entrepreneurial space in Chicago, as well as expose you to what we’re doing in the city overall.”

Emanuel spoke to Morehouse scholars for more than an hour. Touting statistics that rate Chicago as the second-best economy in North America and the nation’s top big city in composition of college graduates, Emanuel said Morehouse Men should think of Chicago as a work destination.

Morehouse Interim Provost Michael Hodge told Emanuel that he chose the right institution to visit since Morehouse is a place where “we produce these young men who are leaders with disciplined minds, and they go out and live those lives of leadership,” he said. 

The men of Morehouse, who were preparing for a trip to Australia to represent the College and the Division of Business Administration and Economics on their annual Spring Tour, gave Emanuel and his staff a stirring presentation about Morehouse College.

Emanuel also discussed issues facing Chicago, his plans for the city, and how men of Morehouse could be part of making Chicago an even stronger city.  

One way students should consider doing so is through spending some part of their lives in public service, Emanuel said.

“I think the measure of our collective lives is when you walk through the door of opportunity, your main responsibility when you reach back is not to grab the door handle, but to grab a hand,” Emanuel said. “I can’t think of a better place to do it but in public service. And, as Muhammad Ali used to say, ‘Our service to others is the rent we pay for being here on Earth.’ So, to all of you who may pick business, or the arts, find a chance to do something in public service.

“The world will be a better place and you’ll be a better person.”


Last Modified: March 21, 2018, 10:03 AM, by: Kara Walker

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