This is the first in our 2019 Year in Review series of lists that spotlights institutional news, accomplishments, and perspectives from across the Harris community. What are your favorite things about the Keller Center? Here are eight things we love about it:

1. Hanging Out in the Forum

The Forum
The Forum

It’s formally the Harris Family Foundation King Harris Forum, but to Harris students, it’s home – a place to work, collaborate, listen to speakers, and more (yes, that might include the occasional nap between classes). And don’t forget the quote from Follies 2019 – it’s also where “the stairs are chairs,” with locally sourced wood thanks to world-renowned artist Theaster Gates!

2. It’s so sustainable!

The ceiling from the Forum of the Keller Center. Photo by Tom Rossiter.
The ceiling from the Forum of the Keller Center. Photo by Tom Rossiter.

We want to spend our time in a place that is intentional and responsibly designed. The Keller Center is LEED Platinum Certified and Living Building Challenge Petal Certified. The building captures enough rainwater to completely fill the four-story volume of the Keller Center’s atrium! 

3. The Introvert’s Nook

The Introvert's Nook
The Introvert's Nook

Under the Forum, next to the original mailboxes from the 1960s, is a quiet, calm space for work and – importantly – a little bit of time away from the hustle and bustle of life.

4. Glass, Windows, and Lots of Openness

The Forum
So much openness. Photo by Tom Rossiter.

Looking across the atrium, you can see a cross-section of what’s happening in the building. Is that Assistant Professor Anjali Adukia presenting a paper? Professor Chris Blattman teaching international development? You may even notice Mike Quigley AM’85 – a sitting member of the United States Congress – lecturing on the political system

5. The Art

The Great Migration
The Great Migration, by David Anthony Geary

From Mohammad Hafez’s evocative work reflecting on the lives of refugees, to David Anthony Geary’s reflections on culture and identity, the Keller Center has become much more than an academic space. Through the art at Harris, you can understand how broad policy is personal… and have something interesting to gaze upon when it’s time to take a break from studying.

6. The Sky Suite 

The Sky Suite
The Sky Suite. Photo by Tom Rossiter.

From videos of University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer, to Civic Leadership Academy classes, to Admitted Students Day, to television crews filing faculty interviews on the hot issues of the day, we can all agree the Sky Suite is a profound new addition to the building now known as the Keller Center. Glass windows can be harmful to bird populations, but not at the Keller Center: our windows have a UV reflective coating that makes it look to birds like they are spiderwebs!

7. So… much… food.






Need we say more?

8. Community

Diversity Day
Community on Diversity Day

The Keller Center is a place where public policy takes shape, but it’s more than that: it’s a community, a home away from home. We eat at the Keller Cafe, we make lifelong friends and partners in arms. It’s not just a place, it’s a lifestyle. We’ll always remember this place – where we first made social impact, down to a science.