Francis M. McKay was a member of the
Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign in its early days.
He was prominent in having the original name
of that school changed to the “University of Illinois”.
Francis McKay also served as a school principal
himself in the early 1900’s. He was principal of
the “Andersen School” in Chicago at the turn of
the century. Named after Hans Christian Andersen,
the school stood at the intersection of North Lincoln
and West Division ---
an address which may sound odd to us now,
since street names have since been changed.
At the present time, those two streets don’t even
intersect. The Andersen School’s current address
is 1148 North Honore, Chicago, IL 60622.
Francis M. McKay Elementary School was originally built
in the year 1928. Remember the round holes in our wooden
desk tops, used to hold the students’ ink bottles before
ballpoint pens were readily available.
The school was chosen to undergo a $15 million renovation
in 1997. For example, the “boys playground” is now covered
by a huge building addition.
There is also now a preschool program there which has
been granted highest honors by the National Association
for the Education of Young Children. Of the school system’s
326 preschool sites, only 37 have earned this NAEYC