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Hull-House, founded in 1889 by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr, was the first social settlement in Chicago. The settlement was incorporated in March 1895, with a stated purpose to "provide a center for higher civic and social life, to initiate and maintain educational and philanthropic enterprises, and to investigate and improve the conditions in the industrial districts of Chicago."
At the end of World War II, the University of Illinois opened a two-year undergraduate division at the Navy Pier campus to accommodate the large number of Chicago-area college students and returning veterans who wanted to take advantage of the GI Bill. By the early 1950s, student demand had sufficiently outstripped Navy Pier's capacity, so the University initiated a search