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100 Years of Leadership and Advocacy

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In January 1918, Chicago experienced one of the worst blizzards in the city’s history. It was during this historic blizzard that representatives from four higher education associations began discussions on how American higher education could contribute to the national war effort during World War I.

In Washington D.C. later that year, they were joined by many others in the higher education community to formally create the Emergency Council on Education. It would be renamed the American Council on Education (ACE) in July 1918. What started as an initiative to assist the nation in a time of war has expanded into the major coordinating body for U.S. higher education institutions.

ACE has continued to answer the call to solve many of the challenges facing American higher education over the past century, helping colleges and universities, senior campus leaders, faculty, and students and their families. Serving almost 1,800 college and university presidents and executives of related associations, ACE’s mission of leadership, advocacy, innovation and service to all of American higher education will continue apace in the decades to come.