Chicago Regional Engagement

Chicago, and the surrounding area, is home to over 400 alums. Use the links below to connect with your local ‘Cats!

Regional Leaders

Have an idea for a program or event? Looking for a way to get involved? Want to get an update on what’s happening in the region? Contact your leaders below!


Marissa O’Connell '11

Davidson Connect Profile (login required)

Young Alumni & Communications Chair

Osama Syed '19

Davidson Connect Profile (login required)

Vice President

Rand Hartsell '86

Davidson Connect Profile (login required)

Alumni Events Calendar

Learn about upcoming events to reconnect and network with members of the Davidson community.

Explore the Alumni and Families Calendar

A Crowd-Sourced Guide to Chicago

Fast Facts

  • Chicago is home to the world’s only backwards-flowing river. In the largest public earth-moving project ever completed, in 1900 the Chicago River was engineered to flow backwards! This incredible achievement has a very practical purpose: to divert sewage away from Lake Michigan’s freshwater supply.
  • It may not be the tallest building in Chicago but the 82-storey Aqua is the tallest structure in the world to be designed by a woman, architect Jeanne Gang. According to the architect, its outstretched balconies reference the limestone outcrop features commonly found in the great lakes region — and serve the practical purpose of creating excellent views for residents!
  • You can thank Chicago for the brownie. Bertha Palmer, wife of millionaire hotelier Potter Palmer, cooked up the fudgy squares for the first time at Chicago’s Palmer House, just in time for their debut at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. And this is only one of Chicago’s famous foods.
  • The first televised presidential debate–thought to have helped John F. Kennedy to win the 1960 election over Richard Nixon–was broadcast from Chicago’s CBS Studios.

What We Wished We'd Known: Advice for Alumni New to the City

  • You probably don’t need a car unless you plan on traveling to the suburbs a lot. Public transportation is very convenient and clean. Many CTA fares require exact change. Get a Ventra card.
  • Wrigley Field is much more pleasant July - September.
  • Be prepared for any kind of weather—like a snowstorm on Easter. There is no bad weather; just bad clothing. Buy a big coat and snow boots—they are DEFINITELY worth the investment. Bring a change of shoes to the office.
  • Navy Pier is a tourist trap; be advised.
  • Shop Michigan Ave in the late morning.
  • Use Google maps when venturing down to lower Wacker. It’s a labyrinth down there.
  • Chicago deep dish and Chicago dogs are a must try.
  • Chicago has far more to it than just the Loop! Lincoln Park and Lakeview have excellent restaurants and bars with a great combo of city and neighborhood feel.
  • Stay safe, and always be aware of your surroundings. Learn the grid of the city, the main streets and their numbers. It’s easier to get around and know where places are.

Must-Do Activities in Chicago