May 23, 1996
Vol. 15, No. 18

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    Notable alumni to be honored

    s Assembly recognizes top achievers, contributors to society An outstanding figure in American law, a top magazine designer, a novelist, an astronaut, an essayist and influential physicians and scholars will be among the University alumni honored this year at the Alumni Assembly, to be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 1, in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.

    The assembly will follow a 9:30 a.m. lecture by astronaut John Mace Grunsfeld (S.M.'84, Ph.D.'88) on space travel and the spirit of inquiry. After the assembly, alumni will parade from Rockefeller Chapel to the Main Quadrangle. For a schedule of Reunion events that are free and open to the public, see page 11.

    The following awards will be presented at the Alumni Assembly.

    Alumni Medal The Alumni Medal is awarded for extraordinary distinction in one's field of specialization and extraordinary service to society.

    Abner Mikva (J.D.'51) is one of the most distinguished alumni in the history of the Law School and an extraordinary public servant. During a career that has spanned four decades and all three branches of the national government, he has worked as lawyer, legislator and judge.

    Judge Mikva began his political career in 1956, when he served for five terms in the Illinois House of Representatives. Illinois voters elected him to the U.S. Congress in 1968 as a representative of Chicago's South Side. As a congressman, he was an early advocate of gun control and a fierce opponent of the Vietnam War. Although a redistricting bill swept him from office in 1972, he returned to Congress in 1974.

    In 1979, President Carter appointed Judge Mikva to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the nation's second-highest court. He became chief judge in 1991. In 1994, President Clinton named Judge Mikva White House counsel, a position he held until his retirement this past November.

    Throughout his political career, Mikva has written scholarly articles and books and has taught at several institutions, including the law schools at Chicago, Northwestern, the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown. He is the co-author of the upcoming book The Legislative Process.

    University Alumni Service Medal The University Alumni Service Medal is awarded for extended, extraordinary service to the University.

    Joseph Ceithaml (S.B.'37, Ph.D.'41), Professor Emeritus in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, has served the University for his entire professional career. He has had a profound influence on campus and played a seminal role in shaping medical-school classes as an instructor, as a scholar and as an administrator in the Biological Sciences Division.

    As Dean of Students and Director of Medical School Admissions in the BSD, his vision extended beyond the prevailing notions of the day and influenced the future of medical education at the University and in schools across the country. Guided by the conviction that a class should be diverse in character and origins, he fought the accepted norm that a standard "pre-med" curriculum was necessary. In the 1950s, he predicted that medical students would have an increasing need for financial assistance, and, with the support of alumni, he established a loan-fund system still in place today.

    Widely admired as a classroom teacher, Ceithaml received the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1950. He also has received two awards from the University of Chicago Medical Alumni Association, the Distinguished Service Award in 1973 and the Gold Key Award in 1982. In addition, the Pritzker School of Medicine has dedicated the Ceithaml Student-Alumni Center in recognition of the more than 3,000 medical students who matriculated during Ceithaml's tenure as dean.

    Professional Achievement Citations The Professional Achievement Citations recognize alumni who have achieved distinction in their careers and have brought credit to the University through their vocational work.

    Roger Black (EX'70) has set the standard for magazine design for the past 20 years. The magazines he has designed and redesigned -- Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Redbook, Esquire, McCalls, Premiere and Time -- represent the best and most significant publications in the country. Internationally, he has designed periodicals in Spain, Singapore, Paris, Puerto Rico, Milan, Amsterdam and Brazil. He also has begun to tackle new forms of media. Last year he launched the Interactive Bureau, a company for on-line media design.

    Bimla Buti (Ph.D.'62) is considered the foremost theoretical plasma physicist in India today. She has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of many observed phenomena in plasmas, and her recent work on chaos and nonlinear waves has opened a new field of study. After receiving undergraduate degrees from Delhi University, Buti came to Chicago for graduate studies with Nobel laureate S. Chandrasekhar. On her return to India, she joined the Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad. She also has worked at various NASA centers and has lectured in countries around the globe.

    Joseph Epstein (A.B.'59) is one of America's most thoughtful essayists. His articles have graced the pages of many highly respected periodicals, including Harper's Magazine, the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine and the London Review of Books. For the past 22 years, Epstein has been the editor of the American Scholar, the periodical of the Phi Beta Kappa Association. Epstein has taught for many years at Northwestern and has served a six-year term on the Council for the National Endowment for the Arts. He has published several collections of his essays, as well as a collection of short stories and three books of literary criticism.

    John Mace Grunsfeld (S.M.'84, Ph.D.'88), the University's first alumni astronaut, carried a University of Chicago banner aloft with him on the 16-day 1995 Space Shuttle Endeavor mission, the longest mission in NASA history. The mission was highly successful, and Grunsfeld was recently selected for a second mission, set for December, to visit the Russian Mir Space Station. Before joining NASA, Grunsfeld was a senior research fellow on the faculty at Caltech, where he established a research project dedicated to detailed studies of accreting neutron stars. Now, several years after the project's inception, observations of neutron stars still continue, and the project has led to several scientific discoveries.

    Donald Hopkins (M.D.'66) is the world's authority on dracunculiasis, more commonly known as Guinea worm disease. Over the past several years, Hopkins has devoted his energy to fighting the disease in Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, Pakistan and Sudan. Currently he directs the dracunculiasis-eradication initiative for the Global 2000 Project, a program of the Carter Presidential Center. Under his direction, Global 2000 has made significant headway, with the ultimate goal of complete eradication 97 percent accomplished. In the 1960s, as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, Hopkins fought to eradicate smallpox. This experience led to the publication of his book Princes and Peasants: Smallpox in History, published by the Press and nominated in 1983 for the Pulitzer Prize.

    Susan Fromberg Schaeffer (A.B.'61, A.M.'63, Ph.D.'66) is widely considered one of the most talented and prolific writers of this era. She has published nine novels, two books for young adults, four collections of poetry and a collection of short stories. All of her work has met with critical acclaim. In 1973, Falling, her first novel, was named one of the 10 best novels of the year by Time magazine. The Madness of a Seduced Woman, published in 1985, was a national best seller and made the best-seller lists in England, Sweden and France. Her poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and periodicals, and she has read her poetry at universities across the nation, including Chicago, where she twice gave the annual Moody Lecture.

    Tsuen-hsuin Tsien (A.M.'52, Ph.D.'57), Professor Emeritus in East Asian Languages & Civilizations, has played a vital role in the early development of East Asian studies and libraries at the University and throughout the country. He has published numerous books and articles, including Written on Bamboo and Silk: The Beginnings of Chinese Books and Inscriptions, published by the Press in 1962 and considered a classic in Sinology and book history. As Curator Emeritus of the University's East Asian Library, Tsien was instrumental in its development as one of the nation's leading centers of East Asian literature. During World War II, he risked his life in the secret transfer of some 30,000 volumes of Chinese rare books to the U.S. Library of Congress for safekeeping and preservation.

    Nicholas Zervas (M.D.'54), chief of neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and Higgins Professor of Neurosurgery at Harvard, is one of the leading neurosurgeons in the United States. He has made significant contributions to his field of medicine -- including the development of new techniques for operating on tumors of the pituitary gland -- and has achieved advances in the understanding and treatment of circulatory and vascular brain abnormalities. He has published more than 200 articles on his findings. Zervas has held central positions in medical organizations, including chairman of the American Board of Neurosurgery, the group that sets standards of accreditation for new doctors in neurosurgery.

    Public Service Citations The Alumni Public Service Citations honor those who have fulfilled the obligations of their education through creative citizenship and exemplary leadership in voluntary service that has benefited society and reflected credit on the University.

    Angelica Harter (A.M.'60) has been instrumental in building a network of service providers and volunteers who work with hundreds of refugees and people seeking political asylum. She is the volunteer, full-time director of the not-for-profit Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM), a Boston-based group that provides resources and services for refugees and people detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. In the past year, RIM has assisted several hundred people from 46 countries.

    Thelma Iselman Hayes (A.B.'40) is the founder of the North Coastal Alliance for the Mentally Ill of San Diego County, a self-support, advocacy, education and research group. She was its first president and has since been active on its board of directors. She is the co-author of "The Truth About Schizophrenia and Other Mental Illnesses," a series of 24 articles aimed at educating the general public.

    Lorraine Moss (Ph.B.'33) has long been an advocate for senior citizens, serving as president of the Advisory Council to the City of Chicago Department on Aging and as a state representative to the White House Conference on Aging. Her most widely known effort began in the early 1990s, when hospital staff members' repeated unawareness of her husband's blindness led her to launch a one-woman campaign to persuade hospitals to clearly identify patients' disabilities. Her efforts led to the inception of the Sensory Assistance Program, a system of disability identification that has been adopted by a number of hospitals.

    William Naito (A.M.'51) helped transform Portland, Ore., into one of America's most livable cities. His civic initiatives began three decades ago when he bought a dilapidated hotel along the Willamette River in the area of Portland's original settlement. Today, the neighborhood is the Old Town/Skidmore National Historic Landmark District, which features the finest collection of cast-iron buildings outside of New York City. Naito also pioneered waterfront living in Portland and was an advocate and benefactor for Portland's light rail system, featuring replicas of Portland's own historic trolley cars. He was a driving force in creating cultural institutions, most notably the Japanese American Historical Plaza, America's only memorial dedicated to the Bill of Rights, which also honors Japanese-American heritage.

    Naito died earlier this month.

    Alumni Service Citations The Alumni Service Citations are awarded for outstanding service to the University.

    Andrew Brown (A.B.'80, A.M.'80, M.B.A.'82), in his five years as chairperson of the Alumni Association's Modern Era Campaign, has led and motivated numerous alumni volunteers and has created and executed fundraising strategies that have secured substantial gifts for the University.

    Ida DePencier (Ph.B.'28, A.M.'50), age 103, has given more than 70 years of service to the University. Upon retiring in 1958, after 33 years of teaching at the Laboratory Schools, DePencier began writing a history of the Lab Schools. A version of the work published in 1967 remains the definitive history of the institution, and the original, unpublished manuscript forms the basis for the Laboratory Schools' new centennial volume, to be published this summer. She also was one of the Oriental Institute's first docents and later helped develop a training kit that has since been used by hundreds of docents.

    Danette (Dani) Gentile Kauffman (A.M.'69) has demonstrated outstanding commitment as a volunteer for the University. In 1993, she became the Humanities Division representative of the newly restructured Graduate Fund, and in that short time, the fund has enjoyed a steady overall growth and an all-time record high for contributions from Humanities alumni.

    Edgar Micael Larsen (M.B.A.'68) and Stephanie Dolan Larsen (A.M.'66) have been a vital force behind the University's activities in Houston. Both have served as officers for the Houston Alumni Club, have hosted an annual end-of-summer party for returning and prospective College students and have also been active supporters of the Motet Choir. They currently serve as co-chairs of the Alumni Association's Centennial Campaign Houston Regional Committee.

    Brace Pattou (A.B.'45) capped five decades of volunteer effort on behalf of the University by leading the planning efforts for his 50th College reunion in 1995. His past service includes chairing the Alumni Association's communication dinners that honored Communicator of the Year Edward Asner in 1983 and Norman Maclean in 1984. He serves as a board member of the University of Chicago Club of Metropolitan Chicago.

    Sydney Rosen (Ph.B.'46, A.M.'49, Ph.D.'73) has provided outstanding leadership among alumni in the San Francisco area. Assuming the presidency of the Bay Area Alumni Club from 1992 to 1994, she provided continuity for San Francisco's alumni group when her predecessor unexpectedly resigned. Through her efforts and example, the San Francisco group remains a model club and one of the most active alumni groups in the country.

    Dennis Waldon (A.B.'69) has taken leadership in organizing two reunions -- as the chairman for both his 20th and his 25th reunions -- and helped ensure the success of both. Waldon was among the first volunteers recruited as a class agent, and in the six years since the program's inception, his creative strategies and thoughtful suggestions have helped to shape the program.

    Young Alumni Service Citations The Young Alumni Service Citations acknowledge outstanding volunteer service to the University by individuals age 35 and younger.

    Elizabeth Hutar (A.B.'83) has served as an outstanding class agent for the past three years.

    Punita Khanna (A.B.'83, S.M.'86) has served in a series of leadership roles for the University of Chicago Club of Greater Los Angeles.

    Elana Muehleip (M.B.A.'90), former president and current treasurer of the Detroit Alumni Club, helped the club expand in membership and participation.

    Robert Robinson (A.M.'87) helped initiate the SSA Alumni Association's Elizabeth Butler Alumni Award, which recognizes accomplishments of recent SSA graduates.

    Howell Murray Awards The Howell Murray Awards were established in honor of a distinguished alumnus and trustee to recognize graduating students for outstanding contributions to the University's extracurriculum.

    This year's awards will be presented to Chip Ach, Chris Albanis, Asha Banker, Bryan Heid, Mathew Isaac, Timothy Liu, Michael Mendoza, Scott McGarvey, Emily Pollock, Julie Ann Sharp, Cynthia Soledad and Rachel Swain.