Jane Addams' 150th Birthday Celebration
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Jane Addams' 150th Birthday Celebration

 Campus celebration event held Tuesday, September 7, 2010 in the Lions Den

Stories were shared from special guest, Robin Lloyd, at this event. Ms. Lloyd's grandmother accompanied Jane to the Hague in 1915 to try to stop WWI.

September 14, 11 a.m. to noon,  Belvidere Oasis, Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I90)

The event, which was free and open to the public, was sponsored by Rockford University, where Addams graduated in 1881 as the class valedictorian, and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum in Chicago, site of her extraordinary efforts on behalf of new immigrants in the late 1800s and early 1900s.   

It featured a birthday cake for attendees, free food and beverages, singing of happy birthday led by the Rockford University Vocal Collective, informational displays, and local Jane Addams re-enactor Amy Nyman. There were also remarks from Rockford University President Robert L. Head and representatives from the Jane Adams Hull-House Museum and Illinois Tollway Authority. Area governmental leaders were also invited.    

"We are pleased to celebrate the birthday of one of our most illustrious alumna,” said Head. "The trail that Jane blazed created a legacy of civic engagement, which is demonstrated every day by our students, graduates, faculty and staff.”

Addams won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 for her work to promote world peace, primarily as president and founder of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She was the first woman to be so recognized and the only Rockford University graduate so honored.

As a social reformer, Jane Addams was a force to be reckoned with. Her efforts led to Illinois’ first child labor law; the first eight-hour work day law for women; the first public kindergarten; the first playground; and the first juvenile court. As a suffragette, she championed women’s right to vote. As a humanitarian, she devoted her life to the causes of peace, freedom and justice.

"While we can’t do the job of Jane Addams, we are her legacy,” said Clarence Wood, president and CEO of the Jane Addams Hull-House Association. "We are trying to stay true to Addams’ legacy, not just as a deliverer of services but as an agent of change.”

Fans of Jane Addams also threw a birthday party with a gigantic cake at noon on September 8 at Daley Plaza in Chicago. That was followed by a "People’s Block Party” sponsored by the Jane Addams Hull-House Association and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the University of Illinois-Chicago.

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