December 19, 2005

In Memoriam

Mr. Alan Voorhees, founder of CUPPA's Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement, died at the age of 83 on Saturday, December 17, 2005.

Mr. Voorhees started the Voorhees Center in honor of his wife, Nathalie, in 1979, when he served as dean of the UIC College of Architecture, Arts, and Urban Science. Though he left UIC shortly
thereafter, Mr. Voorhees remained an active advisor to the Center. Mr. Voorhees most recently made another significant gift to the Center to expand its programs.

Alan and Nathalie Voorhees were among those citizens who felt concern over the future of Chicago's neighborhoods. Mr. Voorhees envisioned a university research center driven by the needs of the people, a cooperative entity charged with providing support and guidance in a responsive and respectful way -- a center with an open-door policy and promise of on-going support, so that trust and continuity could be established — a center that could be a true partner with grass-roots organizations throughout the city. 

Unbeknownst to Alan and others at that time, this center became one of the premiere precursors to UIC’s current Great Cities Commitment.Alan was a pioneer in many areas including transportation. He became one of the world's leading traffic forecasters. During his consulting career, he also created master plans for several major cities around the globe. He was an avid map collector and most recently was a donor and advisor to the Library of Congress, where, according to the Association of American Geographers, he "led the effort to build a corporate support group for the Geography and Map Division that resulted in the largest freely accessible collection of scanned historical maps on the Web."

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