[Chronicle]

May 23, 2002
Vol. 21 No. 16

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    Alumni Association honors its members for contributions


    Associate Justice John Paul Stevens

    The Alumni Association will honor members of the University alumni community at this year’s Alumni Assembly, on Saturday, June 1. The following is a list of the awards and their recipients.

    The Alumni Medal

    Created in 1941, the Alumni Medal is awarded to recognize achievement of an exceptional nature in any field, vocational or voluntary, covering an entire career. It is the highest honor the Alumni Association can bestow. Because the value of the medal is defined by its recipients, it has been given sparingly. The medal is awarded to no more than one person each year and is not awarded on an annual basis.

    John Paul Stevens (A.B. ’41) has served as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court since 1975, when President Gerald Ford appointed him. In this role, Justice Stevens has demonstrated considerable judicial restraint and has not exhibited the bias of a social agenda. His most recent opinion to receive widespread attention was his dissent in the December 2000 decision that overturned the Florida Supreme Court’s authorization of recounts in the Bush-Gore presidential election. Stevens graduated with honors for scholarship and extra-curricular activities as well as Phi Beta Kappa. He served as a naval officer assigned to breaking the Japanese code during World War II and was awarded a Bronze Star. Stevens formed his own law firm and taught antitrust law at the University and Northwestern law schools. He served as associate counsel of a House of Representatives subcommittee studying monopoly power, as a member of the attorney general’s committee to study antitrust laws and as general counsel to an Illinois commission investigating the conduct of state Supreme Court justices.

    Alumni Service Citations

    Created in 1988, the Alumni Service Citations are awarded for outstanding volunteer work on behalf of the University through service in alumni programs, on advisory committees and through efforts made to ensure the welfare of the institution.

    David Green (A.B. ’42, A.M. ’49) began his volunteer service to the University in 1992, when he worked for his graduating class’s 50th reunion. He again served as a volunteer for the 1997 reunion and this year is the chairman of the reunion for Alumni Emeriti. Green’s service to the University also has extended beyond the role he has played at recent reunions. He has had a scholarship established in his name and has worked with the College Visiting Committee and the Social Sciences Visiting Committee. Additionally, Green and his wife, Mary, have established a University Professorship and have offered a million dollar challenge to stimulate unrestricted giving among alumni.

    Larry Greenfield (D.B. ’66, A.M. ’70, Ph.D. ’78) has been a tireless, energetic and discerning advocate of the University and its Divinity School for more than 30 years. After receiving three graduate degrees from the Divinity School, he served a term as its Dean of Students (where his record for placing Ph.D. graduates in academic jobs remains unsurpassed), and for the last two decades he has been a leader in volunteer efforts on behalf of the school. A member of the Divinity School Visiting Committee and the nominations subcommittee, he has been a positive force in bringing valuable new members into the group. He became the national chairman of the 2001 Fund for the Divinity School, which under his leadership raised a record amount of unrestricted support. Since 1994, Greenfield has been a trustee of the Baptist Theological Union, an institution that William Rainey Harper brought to the University in 1892.

    Hazel Vespa (A.M. ’68) began her long term of service to the University as a volunteer for the School of Social Service Administration. She has served as president of SSA’s Alumni board and has volunteered for many of SSA’s alumni events, career fairs and awards ceremonies. Her service to SSA led to her invitation to serve as a member of the University’s National Alumni Cabinet in the 1980s. More recently, she has been a key member of the Chicago-area alumni club, for which she has organized social, cultural and educational events. She also took the lead in developing a handbook for new members of the club’s board and has been highly successful in training and motivating board members.

    Public Service Citations

    The 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.

    Rachel Cowan (A.M. ’65) is an innovative, compassionate and dedicated activist in the realms of Jewish spirituality, healing and outreach to intermarried and unaffiliated Jews. Cowan has directed the Center for Jewish Life at the Nathan Cummings Foundation since its founding in 1989. She also has assisted organizations of Jews, Israeli Arabs and Palestinians who seek to bring peace to the Middle East by improving the lives of all populations. Cowan also sits on the boards of BrotherHood Sister Sol in Harlem, the Foundation for Self-Sufficiency in Central America and the Jewish Funders Network in New York City.

    Peter Dreier (A.M. ’73, Ph.D. ’77) is one of the nation’s leading voices on urban policy. He has served as director of housing for the Boston Redevelopment Authority and as senior policy adviser for Boston Mayor Ray Flynn. Currently, he is a distinguished professor of politics and director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Program at Occidental College. Drier recently helped organize a grassroots coalition to establish Los Angeles’ $100 million annual Housing Fund Trust, and he is founder and co-chair of the Progressive Los Angeles Network to link policy experts with grassroots organizations. His most recent book, Place Matters: Metropolitics for the 21st Century, analyzes the roots of urban crisis and outlines a policy agenda and political strategy to build bridges between cities and suburbs. He has spearheaded studies on federal housing program reforms to expand home ownership opportunities among low-income families and is the leading advocate for the growing movement toward university-community participation.

    Bradford Lander (A.B. ’91) is the executive director of the Fifth Avenue Committee, a community-based organization that works to advance social and economic justice in South Brooklyn. Lander also serves on the boards of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, and Grassroots Leadership (in Charlotte, N.C.). He helped to found the NYC Organizing Support Center, the Alliance for a Working Economy and Housing First! He also teaches city and regional planning at the Pratt Institute. In each of his many roles, Lander has demonstrated an acute ability to involve diverse groups of community residents in addressing issues critical to their lives and to the community as a whole.

    Deborah Leff (J.D. ’77) has committed her career to public service and serves as the director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Her public service has included a focus on civil rights, during her tenure with the U.S. Department of Justice; equal opportunity for women and people of color, when she worked at the White House on federal judicial appointments; and consumer protection, when she was a lawyer for the Federal Trade Commission. For 10 years in the 1980s and early 1990s, she was senior producer of ABC News Nightline, World News Tonight and 20/20 and won numerous awards, including an Emmy and a Dupont. In 1992, Leff joined the policy-oriented Joyce Foundation, where she served as president until 1999. She then became president and CEO of America’s Second Harvest, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization. In addition to her professional achievements, Leff is an active volunteer, serving on the boards of CARE, an international relief and development organization, and the Children’s Defense Fund.

    Professional Achievement Citations

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

    Sanford Grossman (A.B. ’73, A.M. ’74, Ph.D. ’75) is among the most respected financial economists in the world today. He has held academic appointments in economics at Stanford, Chicago and Princeton and at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where he was the director of the Center for Quantitative Finance and the Steinberg trustee professor of finance. His research has concentrated on the analysis of information in securities markets, corporate structure, property rights and optimal dynamic risk management. In 1987, he was awarded the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal by the American Economic Association. He has published widely in leading economic and business journals. He was appointed a public director of the Chicago Board of Trade in 1992 and elected president of the American Finance Association in 1994. In the last decade, Grossman has put his keen insights and economic expertise to use in the private sector, founding and managing Quantitative Financial Strategies, a Global Macro hedge fund located in Connecticut.

    Elenie Huszagh (A.B. ’57) is the first woman to serve as president of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, an organization of Protestant and Orthodox denominations that represents 60 million Christians in the United States. Her involvement with the NCC for more than two decades has strengthened the organization’s work for unity, reconciliation, peace and justice, both in churches and in society. In 1974, she was one of the first five women appointed to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council in the United States, and she continues to serve as legal counsel to the Dioceses of Chicago and San Francisco. Huszagh also served as legal counsel in organizing the World Council of Hellenes Abroad.

    Stanley Miller (Ph.D. ’54) has done what few scientists have achieved––originated a new field of science. Fifty years ago, as a graduate student in the lab of Chicago Nobel Laureate H.C. Urey, he carried out an experiment aimed at reproducing in the laboratory the conditions believed to have prevailed on earth at the time life first arose. To the amazement of all scientists at the time, he observed the formation, in only a few days, of a number of amino acids and other basic building blocks of life. Science museums worldwide now display representations of the Miller-Urey electric discharge apparatus, crediting this historical experiment as the start of a new discipline, called prebiotic or abiotic chemistry, which now has hundreds of practitioners. Miller has remained a leader in this field, publishing more than 160 papers and a major textbook on the subject. He served as president of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life and was awarded the Oparin Medal in 1983. He also has made significant contributions to the study of clathrate hydrates, compounds formed in nature by gases with water molecules. Miller’s research has helped to answer long-standing questions about gas bubbles in polar ice cores and the composition of ice caps on Mars and has yielded new understanding of the mechanism behind anesthesia. Miller is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has been on the faculty of the chemistry department at the University of California, San Diego, since 1960.

    John Morris (A.B. ’37) is a journalist who commissioned, edited and published photographs that have helped define our sense of recent history, from D-Day to the Vietnam War. A man of tenacious integrity and demanding standards, Morris has been a key staff member of some of the nation’s most influential publications, including Life magazine, Ladies’ Home Journal, The Washington Post and The New York Times. Morris began his journalistic career on The Daily Maroon and founded the student monthly Pulse in order to get himself a job. Still teaching and lecturing in the United States and abroad, he has influenced thousands of aspiring journalists. His personal history of photojournalism, Get the Picture, has just been republished in paperback by the University Press.

    Edward Stone (S.M. ’59, Ph.D. ’64) is one of the nation’s leading figures in science policy and administration. After graduate training in the laboratory of the late John Simpson during the birth of space exploration in the late 1950s, he joined the faculty of the California Institute of Technology, where he is a vice president and the David Morrisroe professor of physics. Stone has been the principal investigator on numerous NASA missions, working on galactic cosmic rays, energetic particles from the sun and the particle population in the solar system. He received the National Medal of Science for his leadership of a Voyager mission that explored the outer planets and the edges of the solar system. From 1991 to 2001, Stone was involved with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA’s primary center for development and execution of planetary exploration missions. Stone has been an effective advocate for science research, and he received the 1999 Carl Sagan Award from the American Astronautical Society.

    Rafael Ray Suarez (A.M. ’92) is a senior correspondent on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and for six years was the host of the award-winning National Public Radio program Talk of the Nation. Prior to that, he spent several years covering local, national and international news for CNN, WMAQ-TV in Chicago, ABC News Radio in New York and CBS Radio in Rome. Suarez has been a mentor to many broadcast journalists and was instrumental in founding the Chicago Association of Hispanic Journalists. He has devoted his time and resources to encouraging Latino high school students to stay in school and explore careers in journalism. Suarez wrote The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration: 1966-1999, a book that grew directly out of research and writing he did for his master’s degree at the University on patterns of gentrification on the North Side of Chicago.

    Young Alumni Service Citations

    The Young Alumni Service Citations––awarded for the first time during the 1992 University Centennial––acknowledge outstanding volunteer service to the University by individuals 35 and younger.

    Michael Peters (A.B. ’90) first came to the University as a transfer student and quickly developed a deep commitment to the institution, its history, traditions and future. Peters was instrumental in reviving the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity on campus and has continued his close association with the fraternity by serving on its alumni board. He has been active in many alumni clubs, including those of the Columbus, Ohio-area, the Chicago-area and New York City. In 1996, he joined the New York club’s steering committee and served as the first hospitality chair to welcome newcomers to the city. In addition, he has volunteered for several years for the Alumni Schools Committee and has served a two-year term on the Alumni Association Awards selection committee.

    Tracy Yuen (A.B. ’91) has been an enthusiastic leader of the alumni communities in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York. While living in Washington, D.C., Yuen interviewed prospective students for the Alumni Schools Committee and assisted the local alumni club with hospitality events for student interns and events for University officers. In Philadelphia, she rebuilt and revitalized the region’s Alumni Schools Committee and served a two-year term as chair. Now living in New York, she is currently president of the alumni club and has been an active organizer of alumni club events. For her 10th reunion, Yuen chaired the marketing and communications committee and was instrumental to the success of a silent auction to raise funds for the class gift, which surpassed the all-time record for a 10th-year gift.