May 25, 2000
Vol. 19 No. 17

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    Alumni honored for their commitments to society, University

    The Alumni Medal
    The Alumni Medal, established in 1941, is awarded to recognize achievement of an exceptional nature in any field, vocational or voluntary, spanning an entire career. It is the highest honor the Alumni Association bestows. Because the value of the medal is defined by its recipients, it has been given sparingly over the years.

    Donald Osterbrock (Ph.B., ’48, S.B., ’48, S.M., ’49, Ph.D., ’52) is professor emeritus of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Internationally recognized as an influential figure in the field of astronomy, Osterbrock is an authority on interstellar matter in the galaxy, the nuclei of active galaxies and the history of astronomy in the United States. Through his published papers, classic textbooks and the work of his 21 Ph.D. students and 10 postdoctoral associates, Osterbrock has led the way to much understanding of key areas of astrophysics. In addition to his scholarly work, Osterbrock has held numerous leadership positions, including director of the Lick Observatory of the University of California and president of the American Astronomical Society.

    University Alumni Service Medal
    The University Alumni Service Medal was established in 1983 to honor a lifetime of achievement in service to the University.

    Linda Thoren Neal (A.B., ’64, J.D., ’67), a dedicated volunteer, has served the University in many capacities. Her leadership positions have included President of the Alumni Board of Governors, Chair of the Magazine Advisory Committee, Chair of the Law School Annual Fund and Chair of the Law School Alumni Association.

    Alumni Service Citations
    Established in 1983, the Alumni Service Citations are awarded for outstanding volunteer work on behalf of the University through service in alumni programs and on advisory committees and through efforts made to ensure the welfare of the institution.

    Michael Krauss (A.B., ’75, M.B.A., ’76), a vocal and outspoken advocate of the University, Krauss has been an alumni volunteer in many capacities. He serves as a consultant to the Alumni Association and has facilitated focus groups and brainstorming sessions at Alumni Board meetings. He also served as Chair of the Alumni Awards Committee, where he succeeded in raising the quality of the candidate pool as well as the visibility and prestige of the awards.

    O.J. Sopranos (A.B., ’57, M.B.A., ’57), an advocate of and fundraiser for the University, Sopranos has served on the Visiting Committee to the Oriental Institute since 1986. Through his contacts in the Chicago corporate community, Sopranos was responsible for directing several major gifts to the institute, and as Co-chair of the Legacy Committee Executive Committee, he helped to raise more than $10 million for the institute’s new wing and climate control system.

    Arnold (Ph.B., ’47, S.B., ’49, M.D., ’51) and Maxine Tanis (Ph.B., ’48) have actively promoted the University, recruited and encouraged new students and participated in fundraising. Dr. Arnold Tanis served as Alumni Schools Committee Chair for the state of Florida, National Chairman of the Scholar’s Fund of the Alumni fund, and Director of the Medical Associates Program. For his service, he received an Alumni Association Public Service Citation in 1980 and the Medical Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Service in 1984. Maxine Tanis served as Cabinet Officer of the Alumni Association and Interviewer for the Alumni Schools Committee in Florida. Dr. Tanis currently serves as a member of the Visiting Committee to the Oriental Institute.

    Mary “Coco” Van Meerendonk (A.B., ’64) has served the Alumni Association as Vice President of the Board of Governors, Chair of the Alumni Schools Committee in Brooklyn and President of the New York Alumni Club. As a teacher and administrator at a preparatory school in New York, she has worked to recruit highly qualified students from the New York area to the University.

    Professional Achievement Citations
    Established in 1967, the Professional Achievement Citations recognize alumni who have brought distinction to themselves, credit to the University and benefit to their communities through their vocational work.

    Henry Bienen (A.M., ’62, Ph.D., ’77), renowned scholar and commentator on international affairs, has enjoyed an academic career spanning three decades and three continents. Prior to being elected president of Northwestern University in 1995, Bienen was dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. An author of 16 books on international relations and African political change, he has held positions at the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, the Aspen Institute and the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton.

    Ann Feldman (Ph.D., ’82) is executive director of “artistic circles,” an organization dedicated to bringing women in music to the attention of contemporary audiences and into the mainstream of musical performance. She won a Grammy nomination for her 1993 work, Women at an Exposition, an award at the Shanghai International Radio Music Festival in 1997 and a Studs Terkel Humanities Award from the Illinois Humanities Council in 1999.

    Kenneth Glander (A.M., ’71, Ph.D., ’75), a leading figure in the field of primatology, currently serves as professor of biological anthropology and anatomy at Duke University and director of the Duke University Primate Center. His research on primate ecology and social organization has yielded important insights in such areas as feeding patterns and social structure. A preservationist, Glander has made countless expeditions into some of the world’s most dangerous wildlife regions, including Belize, Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Madagascar, Panama and Uganda.

    Claudia Goldin (A.M., ’69, Ph.D., ’72) is a pre-eminent scholar and author in the fields of American economic history, labor economics and the economics of education. She also is the leading authority on women in the U.S. labor force, having written Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women, the starting point for all research in that area. A professor of economics at Harvard University, Goldin directs the program on the Development of the American Economy at the National Bureau of Economic Research and serves as president of the Economic History Association.

    Glenn Mason (S.M., ’67, Ph.D., ’71), a physicist and experimentalist in the field of space science, currently serves as professor of physics at the University of Maryland. He was principal investigator for SAMPEX, NASA’s first small explorer satellite, which eventually was successful in measuring the composition of solar, magnetospheric and anomalous cosmic-ray nuclei over a broad energy band range. Mason also continues to be a leader in supporting and promoting the interests of the space science community and was chairman of the Space Science Working Group in its defense of the congressional budget for the space sciences.

    Paul Rabinow (A.B., ’65, A.M., ’67, Ph.D., ’70), professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, since 1978, has contributed significantly to the fields of anthropology, philosophy and the philosophy of science. He is the author of numerous books and is now the general editor of the three-volume American edition of Michel Foucault’s interviews, lectures and essays.

    Public Service Citations
    Public Service Citations honor those alumni who have fulfilled the obligations of their education through creative citizenship and exemplary leadership in service that has benefited society and reflected credit on the University.

    Richard Blaisdell (M.D., ’47) was instrumental in the creation of the first medical school in Hawaii and was later appointed the first chairman of the department of medicine at the University of Hawaii. An activist as well as a physician, he has dedicated himself toward improving the health and welfare of the original Polynesian population of the Hawaiian Islands.

    Jennifer Dohrn (A.B., ’67) is professor of nursing and director of the Nurse Midwifery Program at Columbia University in New York City. She has received national acclaim as founder and director of The Childbearing Center of Morris Heights, an alternative birthing center in an inner-city community in the Bronx, N.Y., and the first of its kind in the nation. Since its inception, the center has delivered more than 2,000 babies in a community with an infant mortality rate two-and-a-half times the national average.

    Leonard Fein (A.B., ’54, A.B., ’56, A.M., ’58) is a leading advocate for civil rights, world peace and international human rights. Fein has been a writer, professor, magazine publisher and leader in the American Jewish Community. His articles advocating social justice have appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including The New York Times, The New Republic, Commentary, Commonwealth and the Los Angeles Times. In 1985, Fein founded MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, which to date has generated nearly $20 million to help prevent and alleviate hunger in all 50 states, Israel and poor countries worldwide.

    Judith Berry Griffin (A.B., ’59, A.M., ’60) currently serves as president of A Better Chance Inc., a national resource for identifying, recruiting and developing leaders among young people of color. At present, A Better Chance has placed nearly 10,000 middle, junior and high school students in some of the nation’s finest college preparatory schools, both public and private. Prior to heading A Better Chance, Griffin served in the U.S. Department of Education as director of the Teacher Centers Program.

    Ralph Neas (J.D., ’71), newly elected as president of the People for the American Way Foundation, has spent a lifetime championing the causes of those underrepresented, disadvantaged and marginalized in society. Neas formerly served as executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a coalition of minority groups and other traditional civil rights supporters, such as religious groups, labor unions and public-interest organizations. Neas’ work was critical to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and his work to strengthen civil rights bills that passed through Congress were so successful that he came to be known as the “101st Senator for Civil Rights.” For his accomplishments, Neas has received the Professional Achievement Award from the Chicago Club of Greater Washington, D.C., the Public Service Achievement Award from Common Cause and the Edison Uno Memorial Civil Rights Award from the Japanese-American Citizens’ League.

    Charles Sumner Stone Jr. (A.M., ’48), the Walter Spearman professor of journalism at the University of North Carolina, was a Tuskegee Airman during World War II. The founder of the National Association of Black Journalists, Stone is thought to have coined the phrase “black power.” He has written three books and numerous articles and papers.

    Young Alumni Service Citations
    The Young Alumni Service Citations, awarded for the first time during the University’s Centennial, acknowledge outstanding volunteer service to the University by individuals age 35 and younger.

    Mehvish Rahman (A.B., ’95) recently completed her term as president of the Chicago Alumni Club of New York. During her tenure, she worked to recruit new club volunteers, develop new leaders and provide new opportunities for alumni in the area. Under her leadership, the club organized its first career event, held one of the largest faculty speaker lectures in New York and answered alumni questions concerning changes in the University’s curriculum.

    David Zwarycz (A.B., ’93) began his service to the University when he founded the Student Alumni Association, a student-run organization that encourages relationships between alumni and current students. Zwarycz currently volunteers for both the Alumni Association and the College Fund. As chair of his Fifth Reunion Committee, he enlisted 100 of his classmates to serve as career contacts for current undergraduates.