Living UChicago’s historyBy Colleen Newquist
Director of Publications and Creative Services
Despite living in the Chicago area my whole life, I knew next to nothing about the University of Chicago before I started working here. As editor of the Chronicle, that quickly changed as I gained an in-depth education about the University and its research by editing stories about it. It also gave me a sense of being very close to some of the school’s historic moments, including the excitement surrounding the Nobel Prize.
During my tenure as editor (1991-98), four faculty members won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences—Ronald Coase (1991), Gary Becker (1992), Robert Fogel (1993), and Robert Lucas (1995). It was a thrill to be a part of the News Office during that time, which operated like a well-oiled machine when it came to handling the media hubbub. It was especially wonderful to witness the news conferences that took place, to see the beaming faces of students and fellow faculty members—even the journalists and cameramen were smiling.
It’s not often that you get to witness such a spectacle—unless, of course, you’re at the University of Chicago. Some time later, when I was on staff at the business school, I had the good fortune of being seated next to Robert Lucas at an event, and we chatted pleasantly through dinner, discussing our differences in politics, as I recall. What an interesting way to spend an evening. Not many people have the opportunity for casual conversation with a Nobel Prize winner. Unless, of course, you’re at the University of Chicago.
I came to the University with the idea that I’d work here two to five years—enough to look good on a resumé. More than 18 years later, I’m still here, still working in communications for the University, and still learning something new every day.