May 24, 2007
Vol. 26 No. 17

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    Service to University, alumni community, greater public to be recognized with medals, citations reunion weekend

    By Michelle Caswell and Charlotte Robinson

    James Watson
    (Photo by Max Gerber, 2006)

    The 2007 Alumni Awards will be presented at the Alumni Convocation at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 2, in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, during the annual Alumni Weekend.

    Chicago native and winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine James Dewey Watson (S.B.,’47) will receive the 2007 Alumni Medal and deliver the convocation address.

    Other members of Chicago’s alumni community, who will be honored at convocation for their service to the University and to the communities in which they live and work, also are featured here. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

    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 need not be awarded on an annual basis.

    James Watson (S.B.,’47), is the father of modern genetics and one of the most influential scientists of the 20th Century. Born and raised in Chicago, he received a scholarship to the University (at the age of 15), where his boyhood interest in bird watching blossomed into a serious study of genetics. Watson, who did his graduate studies at Indiana University, earned a Ph.D. in zoology in 1950.

    In 1951, Watson began work at the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory and entered an arena where scientists were racing to determine the structure of DNA. X-ray crystallography experiments already had determined that DNA was a molecule in which two strands formed a tightly linked pair, and Watson and his research partner Francis Crick proposed that the structure of DNA was a winding helix in which pairs of bases (adenine paired with thymine and guanine paired with cytosine) held the two strands together. This groundbreaking work won Watson and Crick, and their colleague Maurice Wilkins, the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, awarded “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material.”

    Watson chronicled the excitement of this discovery in his book The Double Helix, which has inspired generations of scientists to pursue cutting-edge research. In addition to his Nobel, he has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a National Medal of Science and an honorary doctorate of science from Chicago.

    From 1956 to 1976, Watson was a member of the Harvard biology department, where his major research interest was the role of RNA in protein synthesis. He also has made considerable contributions to the understanding of the genetic code. Watson was named associate director of the National Center for Human Genome Research in 1988 and became director in 1989. The center successfully sequenced the human genome in its entirety and was by far the most ambitious, generously funded endeavor in the history of biology.

    In 1994, Watson was named president and subsequently became chancellor of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Long Island, N.Y., where he is an accomplished administrator and bold advocate for basic research in science.

    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 aged 35 and younger.

    Albert Chang (A.B.,’93), a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, has taken a leadership role in organizing as an active member of the Bay Area alumni club. Chang, who has served as its president, helped implement more structured roles for board members and investigated the need for bylaws; improved publicity and marketing; studied demographics to develop events; and introduced programs to recognize and reward local volunteers.

    As chair of the local Alumni Schools Committee, he arranges interviews with local alumni for high school and transfer students who are applying to Chicago. Additionally, Chang is a mentor in the Alumni Careers Network and has served on the University’s San Francisco Leadership Committee, the Delta Kappa Epsilon Alumni Advisory Board and his 10th Reunion Gift Committee.

    Amy Gardner (J.D.,’02) has been a tireless advocate of the University and its law students through her work as a board member of the Chicago-area alumni club, having planned several successful events on general-interest legal topics. She volunteers for the Alumni Careers Network and participates in the biennial Chicago Leadership Caucus volunteer training.

    Since 2004, Gardner has counseled first-year women Law School students through the Women’s Mentoring Program. As a member of the Law School’s Alumni Admissions Committee, she answers questions from admitted students and encourages them to attend the Law School. She also serves as a moot court judge, helping prepare students for the courtroom. Gardner has served as Gift Chair for her fifth Law School Reunion, spearheading an effort to get 35 percent of her classmates to contribute $25,000 to a Class of 2002 Faculty Research Fund.

    The 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 insure the welfare of the institution.

    Patricia Klowden (A.B.,’67), has served the University for more than 40 years. A visual artist living in Southern California, Klowden took an early and active role in local alumni activities, serving as program chair for the Los Angeles Alumni Club, as a member of the Alumni Schools Committee, and as an effective fund-raiser for the University. Subsequently, she has represented alumni on a national level, serving on the Alumni Cabinet and on the Alumni Board of Governors. She also has been a member of the Women’s Board, the Visiting Committee on the Visual Arts and the Library Visiting Committee.

    Klowden and her husband, University Trustee Michael Klowden (A.B.,’67), endowed the Klowden Family Scholarship Fund. In the late 1970s, she established in memory of her parents, the Clinton M. and Dorothy R. Doede Book Fund, which in the past seven years has added more than 10,000 titles to the library’s collection.

    David Whitney (M.B.A.,’78, M.D.,’80), was appointed in 2001, to the Medical and Biological Sciences Alumni Council. He also was elected as its president in 2004. He has served on the Council’s Editorial Committee and Alumni Senate, and he chaired the Nominating and Philanthropy Committees. During his years as a council member, Whitney has improved alumni programming and has recruited other alumni leaders. He has attended numerous career panels, orientation sessions and graduation events, where he encouraged students to become active alumni.

    In 2005, Whitney made a gift-matching challenge to the M.D. classes of 1990, 1995 and 2000, and the following year extended a matching challenge to his fellow Alumni Council members, raising thousands of dollars for the University by reaching out to alumni.

    The Alumni Service Medal

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

    For more than 50 years, Bernard DelGiorno (A.B.,’54, A.B.,’55, M.B.A.,’55), has tirelessly supported the University both personally and financially. A contributor to the College Dean’s Fund, the Graduate School of Business, the President’s Fund and the University’s capital campaigns, DelGiorno was recognized in the Wall Street Journal last year for a generous gift of $5 million to help establish a Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, to renovate Stagg Field, and to help build a residence hall for 900 students. DelGiorno has served as chair of Alumni Emeriti, president of the Graduate Order of the “C,” and president of the Graduate Board of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. Having earned two undergraduate degrees, he has chaired multiple reunions for the College classes of 1954 and 1955. He also has served on the Alumni Cabinet, College and Student Activities Visiting Committee, and the Interfraternity Sing Coordinating Council.

    DelGiorno has been instrumental in improving athletic facilities and the quality of student life at the University and has provided countless students with summer jobs, internships and career guidance.

    The 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.

    Public service has been a hallmark of the legal career of William Josephson. As a young lawyer in the State Department in 1960, Josephson (A.B.,’52) co-wrote a paper that became the basis for the creation of the Peace Corps. He served as its founding counsel and later general counsel. He is president of the Peace Corps Institute and a trustee of Friends of VISTA.

    In 2004, Josephson retired after five years as assistant attorney general-in-charge of the New York State Law Department’s Charities Bureau, where he led investigations of nonprofit organizations and supported federal and state legislation to improve oversight. As a partner at the law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, he represented the New York City pension funds in refinancing the city debt in the 1970’s. He has been a member of the New York State Historical Advisory Board and a trustee of the New York State Archives Partnership Trust. He also served as chair of the Budget and Finance Committee of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and advisor to the National Service Study Project.

    As executive director of the Myanmar Foundation for Analytic Education, Dorothy Hess Guyot (LAB,’53, A.B.,’57, A.B.,’58) co-founded in 2003 a pre-collegiate program at the Diplomatic School of Yangon, which has prepared dozens of Burmese high-school students to pursue bachelor’s degrees abroad. Inspired by her experiences as a student at the Laboratory Schools, Guyot has modeled the program after John Dewey’s philosophy of education, providing students with practical learning opportunities through internships, field trips and hands-on experiments. The program also fosters national development by encouraging students to return to undertake careers in public service after completing their degrees abroad.

    Guyot’s lifelong endeavor to bring people of different cultures together through international and cross-cultural exchange began in 1961, when she received a Foreign Area Training fellowship from the Ford Foundation to conduct fieldwork in Burma. After she finished her dissertation at Yale University, a military government made further field research in Burma impossible. She launched a long career in education in the United States, focusing initially on police reform and encompassing the critical juncture of education and social welfare.

    The 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 vocation.

    Seymour Hersh (A.B.,’58) is an award-winning investigative journalist known for his exposŽs of political corruption. As a freelance reporter, he broke the story of the My Lai Massacre in which hundreds of Vietnamese civilians were killed by American soldiers, and won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1970 book My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath.

    Before covering My Lai, Hersh had written about biological and chemical weapons; later, he exposed the CIA’s domestic surveillance program and the organization’s role in overthrowing Chilean President Salvador Allende; broke the cover-up aspect of the Watergate story; and reported on Henry Kissinger’s illicit activities. Hersh’s 1983 book on Kissinger, The Price of Power, won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Most recently, Hersh has written about the Iraq War, including the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison for The New Yorker.

    Philip Kotler (A.M.,’53), is widely regarded as a leading expert on strategic marketing. As the S.C. Johnson distinguished professor of international marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Kotler has urged generations of corporate leaders to reconsider marketing’s fundamental purpose, basic roles and conventional boundaries. He wrote what is widely recognized as the most authoritative textbook on marketing, Marketing Management, now in its twelfth edition, which the Financial Times listed as one of the 50 best business books of all time.

    Kotler has advised IBM, General Electric, AT&T, Honeywell, Bank of America, Shell, and other top companies in the areas of marketing strategy, organization and international marketing. He is a much sought-after speaker and has conducted marketing seminars for companies and organizations throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Kotler is the recipient of a host of awards, including eleven honorary degrees. He was the first recipient of the American Marketing Association’s Distinguished Marketing Educator Award and in 1995, and was voted the fourth most influential business thinker by the Financial Times in 2005.

    William Chase Richardson (M.B.A.,’64, Ph.D.,’71), president and chief executive officer emeritus of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and retired chairman of the Kellogg Trust, has made significant and long-lasting contributions to higher education, health policy and management, and philanthropy. Before joining the foundation in 1995, Richardson was president of Johns Hopkins University, where he led an important transition that strengthened the university’s academic standing as well as the quality and diversity of its students and faculty. Richardson also has served as executive vice president and provost of Pennsylvania State University and as dean of the graduate school and vice provost for research at the University of Washington.

    Nationally known as a health policy expert, Richardson has published seven books and has chaired the Committee on Quality of Health Care in America for the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In addition to the institutional leadership he has provided, Richardson has served as a mentor to a national cadre of young scholars and policy professionals.

    Diana Slaughter-Defoe (A.B.,’62, A.M.,’64, Ph.D.’68), is one of the nation’s leading scholars in child development and education, and has been a major contributor to U.S. early education policy. In 1998, she became the first Constance E. Clayton professor in urban education in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Before that post, Slaughter-Defoe taught for 20 years at Northwestern University’s School of Education and served on the faculties of Howard University, Yale University and Chicago.

    Slaughter-Defoe’s enduring interest in school-reform models designed to enhance the learning and development of young African-American children has led to many projects. For example, she has conducted research with Project Head Start children and with private Chicago-based elementary schools serving African-American students. Her book on family school choice and urban education goals, Visible Now: Blacks in Private Schools, is a classic in its field. Her recent work has continued the focus on childhood interventions, currently with an emphasis on out-of-school learning. She is currently helping to implement and study two out-of-school child intervention projects in West Philadelphia, one focusing on middle-school girls in math and science and the other on children’s literacy development.

    As scientific director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Division of Intramural Research, Owen Rennert (S.B.,’57, A.B.,’57, M.D.,’61, S.M.,’63), has used his considerable medical knowledge to improve the health of children, pregnant women and those afflicted with genetic diseases. Rennert leads both the Laboratory of Clinical Genomics and the Section on Developmental Genomics, where he oversees human development research programs in four key areas: cell fate; growth and development; reproduction; and cognition and behavior. A developmental biochemist by training, Rennert focuses his research on the interface between biology and clinical practice as it concerns the process of development and cell differentiation.

    Rennert previously chaired the department of pediatrics at Georgetown University School of Medicine, where he is currently professor emeritus. He also has held leadership positions at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and the University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville. Rennert serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Endocrine Genetics and the selection committee for the Pediatric Scientist Development Program.