Mr. Alan Voorhees (right) founded the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement in honor of his wife, Nathalie (left), in 1978, 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. Standing between the couple is past president of the University of Illinois system, President James Stukel.
Mr. Alan Voorhees, at the age of 83, passed away December 17, 2005. Nathalie Voorhees passed away in the fall of 2000 after a long battle with cancer. The memory of Alan and Nathalie and the generosity of the Voorhees family will continue to inspire the work of the Center. The Voorhees' gift provides the basic operating support for the Center and is used to leverage external support for projects. Mr. Voorhees recently made another significant gift to the Center to expand its programs.
Since its founding, the Center has developed a record and reputation for responding to the technical assistance and research needs of the many community organizations and coalitions in the Chicago area. It has completed no less than 250 projects with more than 100 partners through its 25 year history.
VC's 25th Anniversary
In 2003, the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement celebrated its 25th Anniversary. A reception titled, "25 Years of Research in Action," took place on April 3, 2003. Alan Voorhees, the benefactor of the center, was the special guest along with UIC Chancellor Sylvia Manning. A six minute video prepared for the occasion was shown during the reception.
The occasion was used to recognize Voorhees Neighborhood Center student workers and community partners. Over its 25 year history, the Center employed more than 75 graduate students and provided research and technical assistance to scores of community organizations and government agencies.
In commemoration of its 25th Anniversary, the Center sponsored an all day conference on "Interpreting Neighborhood Change" in Chicago on April 4, 2003. The conference engaged students, faculty and community partners in a discussion of the effects of changes witnessed in Chicago's neighborhoods since the 1970s, with special attention to the impact on vulnerable lower-income communities.