May 27, 1999
Vol. 18 No. 17

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    Alumni recognized for their local, national service, University support

    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.

    Marvin “Murph” Goldberger (Ph.D. ’48), an outstanding physicist and academic leader with a superlative record of accomplishment in science, educational administration and public policy, is currently dean of the division of natural sciences at the University of California at San Diego. Goldberger’s career has included terms as president of CalTech and director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. Each of the institutions he has served credits him with initiatives that have advanced research and teaching.

    Within the field of physics research, Goldberger’s best-known and most enduring contributions have been in quantum scattering theory, studies that have provided the central tools for high-energy theoretical physics for two decades.

    Goldberger has maintained an active involvement in national affairs on a number of fronts, notably on matters of national security. He was founder and first chairman of the JASON group of distinguished scientists, which provides advice to the government on technical issues, and served on the President’s Science Advisory Committee. Goldberger also was chosen to be first chairman of the Committee on International Security and Arms Control established by the National Academy of Sciences to carry on a dialogue with a comparable committee of the Science Academy of the Soviet Union.

    A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Physical Society and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Goldberger is the author of numerous books and articles and is the recipient of several honorary degrees.

    University Alumni Service Medal

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

    Charles O’Connell (A.M. ’47) has served the University in countless capacities during a career that included terms as Director of University Admissions and Aid, Secretary of the Faculties, Associate Professor, Dean of Students and Vice President. O’Connell devoted his life to creating a stimulating academic environment that was both realistic and humane, enabling several generations of University students to thrive and achieve.

    O’Connell was instrumental in substantially building the College’s enrollment of talented students, and at the same time, he strengthened its financial aid system. He instituted the Small School Talent Search, engaged faculty in the College admissions selection process and started the Masters Program in the residence halls. In his final years at the University, O’Connell helped to revitalize its alumni programs, establishing both its travel programs and the University of Chicago Club of Metropolitan Chicago. He also regularly taught The Structure and Style of Argument, a course for third- and fourth-year students.

    O’Connell led the University in bringing back football as an intercollegiate sport in 1969. He also helped establish the Gertrude Dudley Scholarship for women scholar-athletes and the Amos Alonzo Stagg Scholarship for men. His leadership signaled to students and alumni the University’s commitment to both excellence and equity in sports. He played a major role in the formation of the University Athletic Association in the 1980s and persuaded the University to become a charter member.

    Over the years, O’Connell encouraged the University’s involvement in student concerns nationwide through his service as chairman of the board of trustees of the College Entrance Examination Board, and later, as trustee of the Educational Testing Service.

    The 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.

    The Rev. John Buchanan (D.B. ’63) was elected moderator of the Presbyterian Church, USA, the highest elected office in the denomination. Under his leadership, Fourth Presbyterian Church provides vital service ministries to Chicago, including one-on-one tutoring for more than 600 students from nearby Cabrini Green, day care, counseling, programs for elderly adults and social services for homeless people. Buchanan is a member of the Divinity School Visiting Committee, its 1998 Alumnus of the Year, and a member of the governing board of the National Council of Churches and the board of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He was recently named editor/publisher of The Christian Century.

    George Drake (D.B. ’62, A.M. ’63, Ph.D. ’65) has been a distinguished professor, a college president and a Peace Corps volunteer. He has been a Fulbright fellow and Rhodes scholar, a Rockefeller fellow, a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow and the recipient of several honorary degrees. As president of Grinnell College from 1979 to 1991, he oversaw the expansion of the facilities and curricular development, strengthened the emphasis on faculty teaching and scholarship and broadened opportunities for minority students. As Peace Corps volunteers, Drake and his wife taught in a remote village in the southern African highlands of Lesotho, where he became a respected village presence and helped his community through a severe drought. He also is chairman of the board of directors at the Iowa Peace Institute, where he continues to generate private funding for the institute’s programs in conflict management and dispute resolution.

    Warren Henry (Ph.D. ’41), a physicist world-renowned for his accomplishments in cryogenics and magnetics research, has spent nearly seven decades working in the fields of magnetism and superconductivity. He is a former student and colleague of George Washington Carver and taught physics to the first classes of black aviators, known as the Tuskegee Airmen, while at the Tuskegee Institute. As one of the most eminent black scientists in the nation’s history, he has been a role model for thousands of African Americans. Elected a fellow of the American Physics Society, he chaired the society’s Committee on Minorities in Physics. During his three decades of teaching and research at Howard University, Henry was published in more than 100 national and international journals and books. He was the advisor to many M.S. and Ph.D. candidates and encouraged his students to co-author numerous papers with him. Since his retirement, Henry has continued to participate in the life of the campus, working with students and faculty on various projects and programs.

    Daniel Joseph (A.M. ’50) is the Regents professor and the Russell J. Penrose professor of aerospace engineering and mechanics at the University of Minnesota. Internationally known for his innovative contributions to research and education in the field of fluid mechanics, Joseph has published hundreds of scholarly papers, written five books, earned 11 patents and held visiting positions at institutions worldwide. Joseph is the only member of the University of Minnesota faculty who is a member of all three major scientific societies: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received the G.I. Taylor Medal from the Society of Engineering Science, the Distinguished Service Award from the U.S. Army, the Bingham Medal from the U.S. Society of Rheology and the Timoshenko Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

    Jesse McDonald (A.M. ’73) has devoted himself to working on behalf of Illinois’ youngest and most vulnerable citizens. The director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services since 1994, McDonald oversees the activities of a $1.3 billion child welfare agency serving 48,000 children. Described by supporters as a dynamic, articulate, strategic thinker, McDonald has served as director of the Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. Currently a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Consultation Workgroup on Outcome Measures, McDonald has had a significant effect on improving the nation’s policies and practice of human service delivery. In 1996, he received the Award of Excellence in Public Child Welfare from the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators, and in 1997, received the Motorola Award for Excellence in Public Service. McDonald continues to have strong ties with the University and has used the University’s wealth of resources and professional knowledge as an integral part of staff training and development in his agency.

    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.

    Timuel Black Jr. (A.M. ’54) has been an activist, educator and inspiring leader in the cause of social justice for more than four decades. A pioneer in the fight against racial segregation in the city of Chicago and its public school system, Black organized the successful 1960 “wade-in” at Rainbow Beach. He was also the Illinois chairman of the historic 1963 March on Washington. As co-chair of the People’s Movement for Voter Registration and Education, he was instrumental in registering more than 250,000 voters in Chicago between 1982 and 1983. In recognition of his service, Black has received numerous awards, among them the 1990 Civil Liberties Award from the Illinois Affiliate A.C.L.U. and the Chicago Urban League’s 1986 Beautiful People Award. Black remains active in community affairs as a member of the board of directors for the African-American AIDS Network and as an advisor to the Newberry Library’s Chicago Metro-History Project and the Chicago Historical Society.

    Donna Lenhoff (A.B. ’72) is a nationally known and admired advocate for the rights of women and families. Among her most far-reaching accomplishments was the organization of a diverse, 200-member coalition to spearhead the nine-year campaign for the enactment of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Since the passage of the act, she has devoted herself to ensuring that the law’s promise becomes a reality in the lives of working families, serving as vice chair of the bipartisan, congressionally appointed Family Leave Commission. As general counsel at the National Partnership for Women and Families, Lenhoff has helped build a nationally recognized advocacy organization. She is also a prominent leader on the issues of sexual harassment, equal pay and fair labor standards.

    Alexander Polikoff (A.B. ’48, A.M. ’50, J.D. ’53) is recognized as one of the country’s premier public interest lawyers. He successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Gautreaux public housing case. During 29 years as executive director of Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, Polikoff has used his legal skills on behalf of many social justice issues, including public school reform and community revitalization, and has helped mentor generations of interns. This year, he will step aside from his long tenure as executive director of BPI but will continue his work in a counsel capacity with this public interest law and policy center. The author of Housing the Poor: The Case for Heroism, Polikoff has been honored with numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fund for Justice of the Chicago Council of Lawyers and the Civil Liberties Award from the A.C.L.U., Illinois Affiliate.

    Bernice Weissbourd (E.X.) is an early childhood educator and leader of the family support movement. Weissbourd believes all parents need and deserve support systems, peers to share the trials of parenting and a chance at peer education. In 1976, she founded Family Focus, a not-for-profit agency providing comprehensive programs for families in diverse communities. Under her leadership, Family Focus has grown to serve children and their families in five community centers across the country and has become a national model for family support programs. Weissbourd is also the founding president of Family Resource Coalition of America, a national organization serving as a resource on family support to program developers, researchers, policymakers and the media. She has served as a member of the congressionally appointed National Commission on Children and is the chairwoman of the advisory board of the Chicago Children’s Museum and the Early Childhood Division of the Field Museum of Chicago. An active member of the University community, Weissbourd has served as a lecturer in the School of Social Service Administration and as a member of the School’s Visiting Committee.

    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.

    Stanley Freehling (E.X.) has been a generous benefactor and knowledgeable advisor to the University’s cultural institutions for several decades. A Life Trustee of the University, Freehling has served on the David and Alfred Smart Museum’s advisory Board of Governors since 1987, helping to increase the museum’s visibility in Chicago’s cultural community and to raise funds for its programs and operations. Freehling has been an honorary member of Court Theatre’s Board of Trustees and on the National Steering Committee for its capital campaign. In addition to his work with the Smart Museum and Court Theatre, Freehling is deeply involved in numerous civic and philanthropic organizations, including The Art Institute of Chicago, where he chairs the Twentieth Century Committee; the Ravinia Festival, where he served as chairman from 1967 to 1971; and the Goodman Theatre, where he was founding chairman. Freehling also has served as president of The Arts Club of Chicago for the past 20 years.

    Edwin Parkhurst Jr. (M.B.A. ’68) has played a major role in assuring the Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy is relevant while providing the highest standards of graduate education in health care management. Parkhurst has served in many leadership capacities––head of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, member of the Executive Council, Chairman of several Alumni Association task forces, and Treasurer, Secretary, Chair-elect and Chairman of the Alumni Council. Parkhurst often works directly with students, using his caring attitude, firmness, high standards and sense of humor to help them learn from his health care management and consulting experience.

    The 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.

    Maria Del Favero (A.B. ’87) has been a steadfast supporter of the University as an organizer, booster and fundraiser. She exemplifies the outstanding achievements of young alumni volunteers through her generosity of time in planning events for the Young University of Chicago Chicagoans and the University of Chicago Club of Metropolitan Chicago. In addition to her work with Club of Metropolitan Chicago, Del Favero also has served on the Edith Ballwebber Awards Selection Committee for the Graduate Women’s Athletic Association.

    Gilbert Sorebo (A.B. ’92) has been an active member of the University of Chicago Club of Washington, D.C. A stellar College Fund volunteer, Sorebo has been class agent and Reunion Campaign Chair. Despite working full time and attending law school, Sorebo has flown to Chicago from Washington to attend such events as the Chicago Leadership Caucus and to participate in the Class of 1992 phonathon. His commitment motivates fellow alumni to give of their time and money.