Updated Sept. 30, 11:45 a.m.: President Morton Schapiro confirmed in an email to students that Obama will be speaking at Northwestern's Evanston campus in Cahn Auditorium on Thursday. The speech will be about the economy and will be accessible via viewing rooms across campus and livestreaming through whitehouse.gov, President Schapiro said in the email, sent out as an announcement at 11:33 a.m. Tuesday morning.
President Schapiro's email confirms reporting by the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday afternoon based on information from “multiple sources.”
A White House official had also confirmed that Obama will be in Chicago on Thursday and said further details about the President's trip will be made available soon. The official said the visit will include a campaign event for Governor Pat Quinn.
Four military aircraft landed on the Lakefill Monday afternoon, sparking widespread rumors of a potential presidential visit that had yet to be confirmed.
Weinberg junior Angelica Burgess was in Deering Meadow just after 1 p.m. when she saw the aircraft fly overhead.
“I thought planes coming into O’Hare typically turn around over the lake and then come back to land,” said Burgess. “I wondered what they were doing at first, but then I thought that they might be turning around to land.”
Tara Raizada, a Weinberg sophomore, heard an abnormally loud sound like of a low-flying aircraft first — and when she went outside to look closer, she knew they were military helicopters.
Raizada said she was looking forward to a potential visit from Obama. "It's not all that often you get the president of the United States coming to your college and giving a speech," she said.
Additionally, signs posted outside of Cahn auditorium as of Monday that specified no parking would be permitted on Thursday.
Obama’s speech is to focus on the economy, according to President Schapiro.
The president is visiting Chicago for a fundraiser hosted at the home of Neil Bluhm’s daughter, the Sun-Times reported. Bluhm, a Northwestern law school alumnus (‘62) and Chicago businessman, donated $25 million to Northwestern in 2013.
Ben Zimmerman contributed reporting to this story.