Updated, Sept. 15, 4:32 p.m.
The Barack Obama Foundation named Columbia as one of four finalists for the site of the Barack Obama, CC '83, Presidential Library on Monday.
Columbia and the three other finalists—the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Hawaii—will now submit a proposal to the foundation to outline each institution's formal plans for the library, including management, site development, potential for academic collaboration, and marketing and attraction strategy.
In a statement released on Monday, the University said it was "honored that the Barack Obama Foundation has named Columbia as a finalist in the site selection process for the Barack Obama Presidential Library."
"We now look forward to responding to the Obama Foundation's Request for Proposals in the next stage the process. We would be delighted to have the President and Mrs. Obama join our University community after leaving the White House, and believe that Columbia's new Manhattanville campus and New York City would provide a dynamic platform for a post-presidency engaged in the vital issues of our time, while adding to our core mission of teaching, research and public service," the statement said. "So we will pursue this opportunity with energy and pride on behalf of not only the University, but of the City and community we call home."
"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," Barack Obama Foundation Board Chair Martin Nesbitt said in a press release on Monday. "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."
Columbia submitted its request for qualifications—along with a letter of support from the West Harlem Development Corporation—to host the library on its Manhattanville campus in June. Columbia's bid received support from New York City's mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Rep. Charles Rangel.
The proposals are due on Dec. 11, 2014, and the Board of the Barack Obama Foundation is expected to present recommendations to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama—who will ultimately make the final decision on the location of the library—in early 2015.
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