Clinton, Gore last president and VP to visit UI
April 22, 2015
Bill Clinton and Al Gore were the last sitting president and vice president to visit the University; the pair discussed themes from Clinton’s 1998 State of the Union address, which was given the night before.
In contrast to Vice President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit, Clinton and Gore’s trip was announced weeks in advance.
Clinton spoke at Assembly Hall, now State Farm Center, days after allegations of his affair with Monica Lewinsky surfaced. Clinton began his speech by discussing Abraham Lincoln and his ties to Illinois as well as his closeness to the Americans he served. He also discussed the Morrill Land Grant Act, which resulted in the creation of land grant institutions. The University was one of the original colleges founded under the act, in 1867.
He went on to talk about how successful the school has been in terms of advancing technology used by the world.
“Illinois and other land grant colleges have literally led our way into the information age,” Clinton said in his address to the crowd.
Clinton also focused on his goal to make college education “as universal as a high school education.”