Northwestern University Archivist Kevin Leonard will present “Sanctified Minds and Sharp Elbows” a history of NU and Evanston at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Evanston History Center, 225 Greenwood St.

Since 1853, the university has served as the institutional anchor of Evanston.

Its early denominational ties contributed strongly to Evanston’s character as a town dominated by a religiously affiliated elite, their congregations and causes.

But Northwestern’s interests have been practical and worldly as well, and many of the University’s officials were keenly attuned to the secular concerns of commerce, real estate, and politics.

From the size of the University’s land holdings to its status as a tax-exempt organization, the points of friction between institution and city have been challenging, and often contentious.

Admission: $10, payable at the door (EHC Members free)

Membership information and sign-up available at the event.
A reception catered by Whole Foods Market, Evanston South, takes place from 6:30 to 7 p.m.

Reservations recommended: or 847-475-3410.

Top: A 1907 aerial view of the NU campus.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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