Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago's aldermen paid tribute to DePaul's women's basketball program on March 28 for competing in its 16th consecutive NCAA tournament - the only collegiate basketball team in Illinois that can make that claim.
Fourteenth Ward Alderman Ed Burke, a DePaul alumnus, introduced the resolution in City Council chambers. Citing an impressive list of accomplishments including the fifth-straight BIG EAST regular-season title and third BIG EAST tournament title in five years, Burke praised DePaul and hailed coach Doug Bruno as a Chicago sports institution and the dean of Chicago basketball.
A number of Burke's colleagues rose up to join in the tribute, including 3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell, whose ward encompasses Wintrust Arena. At the end of her speech, Dowell said: "When I'm finished here, I want to come and be a part of your team."
The Blue Demons' three city players watched as each of their aldermen took turns praising their efforts and thanking them for bringing recognition to their community.
Deja Cage's 34th Ward Ald. Carrie M. Austin spoke proudly of the connection, followed by 37th Ward Ald. Emma Mitts (Tanita Allen) and 38th Ward Ald. Nicholas Sposato (Lauren Prochaska). Prochaska, Allen and Cage each stood in front of City Council chambers individually to receive a copy of the resolution from Emanuel.
"It was very cool and not what I expected," Prochaska said. "I've never seen City Hall, and it was really interesting to see the process of government. Mayor Emanuel and the aldermen made us feel so welcome, and it was nice that the people who run the city took the time to recognize DePaul and women's sports."