Harold Washington College was founded in 1962 as Loop Branch City College. The Chancellor at the time, wanting an experienced administrator to oversee the launch of the new downtown college, tapped Ernest V. Clements, Jr. (“Vint”). Vint was president of Wilbur Wright College.
After overseeing the successful launch of Loop College (renamed in 1985 two weeks after the passing of Mayor Harold Washington), Vint returned to Wright College. He served as president of Wright until 1984, making him one of the longest tenured college presidents in the history of Illinois. Vint passed away on March 18 of this year.
In December 2012, Chancellor Hyman asked me to serve as interim president of Wright College while the District searched for a new president. For the past six months, I have alternated between downtown and the far northwest side, straddling two colleges and delivering on graduation and budget goals. My time at Wright College has now come to a close. Dr. David Potash starts on July 22 as Wright’s new president.
And I would like to think, fifty years after Vint Clements gave Loop College its start, Harold Washington College has now repaid its debt to Wilbur Wright College.