UH on “Short List” for Obama Presidential Library
By Wendy Osher
The University of Hawaiʻi is among the four locations identified on a “short-list” of potential partner institutions for the future Barack Obama Presidential Library.
In addition to the University of Hawaiʻi, others that were contacted to submit formal proposals include the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Columbia University, according to an announcement today from the Barack Obama Foundation.
The foundation announced its intent to solicit requests for formal proposals from the four educational institutions today after a search for interested applicants was launched in March.
Foundation officials say they will work with each institution to “further refine their proposals over the coming months.”
The responses are due by Dec. 11, 2014, and the foundation plans to present a recommendation to the President in the early part of 2015.
In June, Hawaiʻi officials formally submitted a written response advocating Honolulu as the host location for the “Barack Obama Presidential Center.”
“Together, with our partners, we are proposing a vibrant institution that will explore the legacy of the forty-fourth presidency, forge collaborative solutions to global problems, and cultivate a new generation of leaders that will make lasting change,” said David Lassner, president of the University of Hawai‘i System in a press release issued in June.
At the time, he said, “Hawai‘i is prepared to host the Obama Presidential Center in its entirety or to partner with another site to help the President create an institution with two campuses and a unified mission.”
Today Lassner released a statement saying, “We are thrilled to advance to the next stage of dialogue and planning with the Barack Obama Foundation. The University of Hawai‘i will take the lead in developing a formal response to the Foundation’s Request for Proposals and will work in close collaboration with the state, city, and other community partners.”
The Hawaiʻi proposal included plans for telling the president’s story and creating an interactive museum and visitor center on the Obama presidency and its connections to Hawaiʻi.
At the time Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui was among those who spoke in support of the project saying, ” our global orientation, multicultural population, robust visitor industry, and unrivaled natural beauty make Hawai‘i a logical destination to house and nurture the President’s legacy.”