IMAGE:  December 2002 GRAPHIC:  University of Chicago Magazine
Volume 95, Issue 2
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1912 In response to requests from city officials the University instituted fire drills at Cobb Hall. Faculty members led students out of the building while Chicago fire marshals were “situated at the head of the stairs on each urge on recalcitrant instructors and to inform them of certain finer details of the evolutions.” The first drill, on November 27, showed that the building could be evacuated in three minutes.

1952 Physics professor Samuel K. Allison, SB’21, PhD’23, contributed “Ten Years of the Atomic Age: Thoughts on the Tenth Anniversary of the Chain Reaction” to the Magazine. Transferred to Los Alamos to work on the Manhattan Project, Allison returned to Chicago after World War II as director of the Institute for Nuclear Studies (now the Enrico Fermi Institute). Following the creation and use of nuclear weapons and energy, Allison wrote, “there was a long-range anxiety, namely that humanity might not be sufficiently advanced in ethical and moral sense to make good instead of bad use of the new powers.” He hoped that research universities, and especially Chicago, would pursue peaceful uses for the newly harnessed atomic energy.

IMAGE:  Hanna H.Gray and trustee chair Robert W. Reneker, PhB’34, march at Gray’s 1978 inaugural.

1977 On December 10 board of trustees chair Robert W. Reneker, PhB’34, announced the election of the University’s tenth president: “It is a joy to know that Hanna Gray will be returning to the University [from Yale],” Reneker said. “She has a splendid reputation as a scholar; she knows this University and enjoys the confidence of its faculty.” Taking office on July 1, 1978, after serving as Yale’s provost and acting president, Hanna Holborn Gray, Chicago’s chief executive until 1993, is now the Harry Judson Pratt distinguished service professor emeritus of history.

1992 In the early 1990s the question surrounding the annual announcement of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was not if a Chicago economist would win, but rather which would win. The answer in 1992 was Gary Becker, AM’53, PhD’55, the third Chicagoan in a row. His work analyzing discrimination, marriage, and drug abuse—more typically the domain of sociologists than economists—using microeconomic principles earned him the prize. Becker, the Nobel committee noted, “borrowed an aphorism from Bernard Shaw to describe his methodological philosophy: ‘Economy is the art of making the most of life.’ ”

— E.H.




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