Goedert Center Mission & History

The Rose K. Goedert Center provides services for 92 children from its location on Dominican University’s Priory Campus. The facility features individual play areas for each of its five classrooms as well as a large playground for the children.  The center also includes observation rooms with one-way mirrors to give teachers-in-training and educational professionals the opportunity to observe activities without distracting children.


The Rose K. Goedert Center is committed to providing quality, holistic, early childhood education for children ages 2 through 5, while providing an on-campus learning environment for students in Dominican University’s School of Education.


The facility is named in honor of Rose K. Goedert, who spent a lifetime promoting high-quality, inclusive education for all children. In 2005, John P. Goedert donated the funds in honor of his wife, Rose.

Rose K. and John P. Goedert left a lasting footprint on Dominican University’s campus—the Rose K. Goedert Center for Early Childhood Education, dedicated in the spring of 2006. John, known as “Jack”, now deceased, long wished to honor his wife’s memory and her commitment to the education of all children. He began funding the Center during his lifetime through a gift to the Amazing Possibilities Campaign and at that same time, added a provision in his estate plan to further fund this memorial project after his death. Through Jack’s thoughtful philanthropic planning and vision, quality early childhood education flourishes at Dominican, providing a lasting legacy for the Goedert Family.

Rose Kelliher Goedert graduated from Rosary College in 1936, following her sisters Agnes Kelliher ’29 and Anne Kelliher Lynch ’32. The year she graduated, she met Jack Goedert at a Rosary Sunday tea dance. Jack, a graduate of Catholic high school, university and law school, was an attorney and Certified Public Accountant. The two were married in 1940. Later, as Rose continued her education toward a master’s degree in social work, the Goederts learned that their infant son was deaf. This significant event focused the Goederts’ interests on education for children. Rose and John became lifelong advocates for early childhood education and inspired many others along the way.

The Goederts were married in 1940 and raised their family in River Forest. Rose’s commitment to the education and well being of children began in earnest when she discovered that her youngest son, Mike, was deaf. She was determined to provide him with a quality education that concentrated on teaching him how to speak.