EAST CHICAGO | The East Chicago Public Library will be hosting a dedication ceremony and a reception honoring the late William B. Passmore today at 5:30 p.m. at the Main Library located at 2401 E. Columbus Drive. An official ribbon cutting to rededicate the William B. Passmore Career Services Room, which was established in honor of the former East Chicago Public Library board member in 1992.
The William B. Passmore Career Services Center commemorates his work for literacy and vocational education for all young people. The center is geared toward students considering college, and adults seeking employment information and opportunities.
Passmore stood head and shoulders above his contemporaries. In spite of an injury in his youth that left him unable to walk. A product of East Chicago Washington, he earned a degree from Indiana University.
During his lifetime, he guided thousands of students into the trades or colleges. Passmore became an untiring advocate for the rights of African Americans and people with disabilities.
In 1969, President Richard M. Nixon honored him with the prestigious Handicapped American of the Year Award. Passmore also was named a Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana’s highest civilian honor, by Governor Robert Orr. His generosity, love and dedication to humanity earned him numerous awards throughout his lifetime.
As the sponsor of Convicts Anonymous and Convict Unlimited, he emphasized the achievement of literacy as a first step toward a successful readjustment to life beyond incarceration. Passmore also was well known around the region as an avid sports fan who seldom missed a high school athletic event.
“His work and achievements proved that having a disability doesn’t make you disabled when you ‘get up and get going’ to make your dreams a reality,” Interim Director Mr. Charles Moore said.
Serving on the Board of Trustees for the East Chicago Public Library for sixteen years, Passmore consistently supported innovative after school programs. His most notable achievement influenced the region, state and nation. William Passmore worked tirelessly for the Americans with Disabilities Act and saw it passed into law shortly before his death.
The ribbon cutting and reception are free and open to the public. For additional information, please contact Cheryl L. Smith at (219) 397-2453 Ext. 11