History & Mission

The Center for Leadership and Involvement Mission

The Center for Leadership and Involvement supports the values of the University of Chicago by creating meaningful involvement opportunities and fostering inclusive environments which advance student learning. We pursue our mission by promoting leadership development, cultivating a sense of campus community, and inviting exploration and discovery. 

The Center for Leadership and Involvement Guiding Principles


We continually seek dynamic and sustainable approaches to enhance our work, challenge assumptions, and promote strategies to advance student personal development and post-graduate success.


We exercise the highest ethical and professional standards in our enhancement of the student experience.


We affirm that we make our greatest positive impact through the development of meaningful and strategic relationships.


We strive to elevate the student experience through the ongoing assessment of our programs and services. We apply our varied strengths and talents to provide exceptional developmental opportunities for students.

History of the Reynolds Club

The Reynolds Club, originally deemed The Tower Group, is located on the southwest corner at 5706 South University Avenue. 

In 1895, Mrs. Joseph Reynolds donated to the university to establish a memorial of her late husband. Leon Mandel along with Harold F. McCormick, John J. Mitchell, and Charles L Hutchison, contributed to fund the construction of The Reynolds Club.

Mr. Hutchinson felt that the lack of a University Commons was an urgent need. Mr. McCormick’s contribution was put into the Commons Cafe, a smaller dining hall that is now where the Hallowed Grounds Coffee Shop resides. This area of the building was originally designed for male students only, as a place for them to take their meals and congregate.

Mr. Mandel felt the University must construct an Assembly hall and pipe organ, and he contributed specifically for what is now Mandel Hall, located at 5700 South University Avenue, and connected to the Reynolds Club.

Part of the building houses the John J. Mitchell Bell Tower, which is modeled after the Magdalen College Tower at Oxford University. Mr. Mitchell cheerfully consented to have his contribution go into the construction of the tower. The Mitchell Tower was made the central feature. Inside, the Alice Freeman Palmer chimes were installed in honor of the first Dean of Women. When construction was finished, it was arranged that every night five minutes past ten o’clock the chimes should send out over the quadrangles the melody of the alma mater indicating that the day was ended and that the hour for rest had come.

The Reynolds Club is also home to Hutchinson Commons, which is modeled, nearly identically, after the Dining Hall of Christ Church. When it was first constructed, the president’s quarterly receptions were held here along with convocation dinners, alumni banquets, football feasts, and other social functions and gatherings. Hutchinson Commons is currently used as a dining hall and lounge.

Shortly after its construction, The Reynolds Club quickly became the headquarters of social life on campus. In 1902, the Reynolds Club contained a billiard room, bowling alley, library, a reading room a theater, and numerous committee rooms.

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