Weston Christopherson, Life Trustee
Weston R. Christopherson, Life Trustee of the University and former chairman and chief executive officer of the Northern Trust Corporation, died May 29. He was 69.
Christopherson was elected to the University's Board of Trustees in 1974. He immediately committed himself to significant fundraising roles in the Campaign for Chicago, chairing the Select Gifts Committee for the Chicago area and the National Corporate Committee and then serving as chairman of the Medical Center Renewal Campaign. He also served in the subsequent Campaign for the Arts & Sciences, was a member of the steering committee for the Campaign for the Next Century and was himself a generous donor to the University. In addition to his fundraising efforts, he served on the Executive Committee for the Hospitals and on the Council for the Graduate School of Business. He was chairman of the GSB Council in 1978 and 1979.
Christopherson served as First Vice Chairman of the Board from 1981 to 1984. He was chairman of the Committee on the Chairmanship of the Board from 1984 to 1986 and chairman of the Trustee Nominating Committee from 1988 to 1993, the same year he was elected a Life Trustee.
After receiving his S.B. in 1949 and his J.D. in 1951 from the University of North Dakota, Christopherson began a long association with Jewel Companies Inc. He stayed with the company until 1984, when he resigned his position as chairman and CEO there to become chairman and CEO of the Northern Trust Corporation. He continued with Northern Trust until his retirement in 1990, at which time Northern Trust was the 11th most profitable of the 100 largest banks in the United States.
Christopherson was also an active member of Chicago's philanthropic circles. He had been a director of two corporate foundations, the Quaker Oats Foundation and the Illinois Tool Works Foundation, as well as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Chicago United Way/Crusade of Mercy. He also had served as a director of several health-care groups, including the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Lake Forest Hospital and Children's Memorial Hospital. His recent volunteer activities focused on organizations that serve children, particularly their educational needs. He was a director of Voices for Illinois Children, a nonpartisan child-advocacy organization, and the Big Shoulders program, an education-support program for Chicago's inner-city Catholic schools.
He is survived by his wife, Myrna, and three daughters, Mia, Mari and Kari.