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In the century since Dominican joined the River Forest community, the village and the university have developed an enduring relationship.
River Forest Village President Cathy Adduci addresses the Dominican University community on April 7 during the inauguration of Dr. Glena Temple.

The connection between the two entities, fueled by collaboration and a shared set of values, has helped shape Dominican’s vibrant presence in the community today.

“Having Dominican literally down the block as a neighbor provides so many valuable opportunities and offerings to the village and its residents,” said Cathy Adduci, River Forest’s village president. “Dominican is a phenomenal school with an enormous amount of credentials and that, of course, means a lot to the community.”

In the decades following Rosary College’s 1922 opening in River Forest, the institution rapidly expanded its curriculum and reach. The growth led to more undergraduate offerings, the establishment of high-impact graduate programs, and an increased physical footprint — all of which heightened Dominican’s presence in the community. 

Today, local leaders still continually notice Dominican’s growth and impact. Adduci noted that she’s seen Dominican grow during her tenure in two key areas: the university’s physical presence and its offerings to residents. She added that the university’s high-quality education, diversity of students and educators, enriching activities and cultural experiences all offer “major benefits” to the community.

The bond between River Forest and Dominican further strengthened in late 2020 when the village’s board of trustees unanimously approved a resolution supporting a community partnership to fight racial and social injustice. The resolution aimed to guide the village in becoming a more socially equitable place while also helping expand Dominican’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation efforts. 

“We’re working side by side with the university on (diversity, equity and inclusion) programs and I think it’s good for us as a village,” Adduci said. “All of it’s great. We established our own DEI committee to address the inequities that do exist and we want to make it better.”

Still, a century after Dominican planted its flag in the village, there are even new possibilities to further embed the university into the community. 

“We’re constantly looking at ideas and ways that we can work better together,” Adduci said.