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UIC Forum Renamed For 2 Immigrants Who Fled War-Torn Ukraine For West Side

By Ariel Cheung | October 16, 2017 2:21pm | Updated on October 17, 2017 7:25am
 Spectators streamed into the UIC Forum Wednesday afternoon ahead of Gov. Pat Quinn's planned signing of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois.
Spectators streamed into the UIC Forum Wednesday afternoon ahead of Gov. Pat Quinn's planned signing of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois.
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DNAinfo/Darryl Holliday

UNIVERSITY VILLAGE — With a $3 million donation to the University of Illinois at Chicago, children of Isadore and Sadie Dorin will cement their immigrant parents' legacy with a new scholarship and a rebranding of the UIC Forum.

The couple settled in Chicago after fleeing the devastation of the Russian Revolution in the early 1900s and built a life running a small produce market on the city's West Side.

A century later, the Isadore and Sadie Dorin Foundation will endow merit-based scholarships to undergraduate students from Cook County, and the university will honor them by renaming the UIC Forum the Isadore and Sadie Dorin Forum at UIC for an undisclosed period of time.

Isadore (left) and Sadin Dorin came to the United States in the early 1900s. [Provided/UIC]

"They came over with practically nothing. But they worked very, very hard," said their son, David Dorin, 98. "They were immigrants and they started something in Chicago. Immigrants were a big part of making Chicago what it is, and I think making the United States what it is."

David Dorin was one of five Dorin children raised near where the university stands today. Together with his brother, Bud, the two recalled summertime trips along Roosevelt Road to cool off at the 12th Street beach or visit the Maxwell Street market.

After arriving separately in Chicago from what is now Ukraine, Isadore Dorin began working as a peddler and shoveling snow, while his wife worked in a factory and made $6 a week. They met through their families.

They opened a produce store in a rented location in the Near West Side and lived in an apartment in the back. Isadore worked 18 hours a day and are said to have been generous to people in need during the Depression though frugal in their own spending.

Isadore died in 1939 and the age of 45. Sadie died in 1992 at 102. Family members set up a foundation in their parents name.

Story continues below.

Maxwell Street in 1910. [Provided/UIC]

Their devotion to helping others and the struggles the Dorins endured is something their children want to be remembered through their donation. The merit-based scholarship will be given to first-year students from Cook County and can be renewed for the following three years.

UIC will celebrate the gift at the Oct. 28 IGNITE campaign launch rally, and the UIC Forum renaming will be formally unveiled in the spring.