February 16, 2006
Vol. 25 No. 10

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    Luis Cibils, the Marie Campu Ryerson Professor Emeritus in Obstetrics & Gynecology, was honored with the presentation of the first Cibils Lecture.

    The speaker, José Villar, who gave a speech titled “Pre-eclampsia-eclampsia: An Unresolved Problem for Over Two Millennia,” is a medical officer and group leader for maternal and perinatal health research in the department of reproductive health and research at the World Health Organization.

    Leon Despres (AB ’27, JD ’29), the University’s 2005 Benton Medal for Distinguished Public Service recipient and former Chicago alderman and community activist, was honored with the Distinguished Service Award from the Phi Beta Kappa Association of the Chicago Area.

    The association, a community counterpart to the larger Phi Beta Kappa Society, honored Despres for his longtime public service to the city of Chicago.

    Despres, who for decades has been considered the liberal conscience of Chicago politics, was born in Chicago in 1908. He attended the University Laboratory Schools, and he graduated from the College in 1927, and from the Law School in 1929.

    Despres, 97, has crusaded to ban discrimination, preserve Chicago landmark buildings and gain equality for African Americans. After serving for 20 years with great distinction as alderman, Despres worked as a parliamentarian for the Jane Byrne and Harold Washington administrations, as well as an attorney, teacher and lecturer.

    Alumnus Gregory Gocek (AB ‘78, AM ‘80, MBA ‘85) is president of the Phi Beta Kappa Association of the Chicago Area, which honored Despres at its annual dinner.