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For the record

Fourth teen charged in Cisse death
On February 11 Chicago police charged Demetrius Warren, 17, with first-degree murder and attempted robbery in the November 19 fatal shooting of Amadou Cisse, a U of C graduate student. Chicago police had previously charged three others—Eric Walker, 16; Benjamin Williams, 21; and Jamal Bracey, 17—as accomplices in the murder, as well as other incidents near campus that night.

The name behind the committee
The Committee on Social Thought is now called the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, after its founder, a U of C economic historian who died in 1988. The committee was founded in 1941 as a place where scholars could pursue fundamental issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. The name change, announced January 22, recognizes financial support from Nef and his widow, Evelyn Stefansson Nef.

Quality quadrangle
The Illinois chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) have selected Chicago’s quadrangles as one of 150 great places in Illinois. Also making the list are Lorado Taft’s Fountain of Time sculpture and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House, both located on campus. The sites were selected to celebrate the AIA’s 150th anniversary.

School charters a new course
The newest University of Chicago Charter School campus, named for Carter G. Woodson, AB’1908, AM’1908, “the father of black history,” opens this fall. Serving sixth through eighth graders in a Chicago Public Schools facility at 4414 S. Evans Avenue, the school will enroll roughly 250 students—a mix of current U of C Charter School students and other neighborhood sixth graders—in its first year. Like the school’s other campuses, Carter G. Woodson will feature a rigorous academic program with a longer school day and school year than traditional Chicago public schools to help prepare students for four-year colleges.

Endowment growth
Chicago’s endowment rose nearly 28 percent—from $4.87 billion in fiscal year 2006 to $6.2 billion in 2007—making it the 13th largest endowment among the higher-education institutions in the National Association of College and University Business Officers’ annual compilation. Returns across all the institutions rose 17.2 percent, a 10.7 percent jump from 2006.

Bright lights, big campus
The University has completed the first phase of an ongoing plan to upgrade campus exterior lighting, adding installations to nine buildings on the Main Quad: Culver, Eckhart, Haskell, Kent, Rosenwald, Ryerson, Stuart, Swift, and Walker halls. The next phase will focus on buildings facing 59th Street as well as spaces south of the Midway Plaisance and near the Laboratory Schools.

In the bank: GSB professorship
With $3 million donated by Bank of America Corp. and others, the Graduate School of Business created its largest endowed professorship, named for former LaSalle Bank Corp. Chair Norman Bobins, MBA’67. The money provides salary and research funding for a finance, economics, or banking scholar.

Grammys galore
The Music Department’s ensemble-in-residence, eighth blackbird, won two Grammy awards in February. eighth blackbird’s strange imaginary animals won Best Chamber Music Performance, and the recording’s producer, Judith Sherman, won Producer of the Year, Classical. Senator Barack Obama, Law School senior lecturer, won Best Spoken Word Album for his audio book The Audacity of Hope

Financial gain
The American Finance Association has awarded Amir Sufi, assistant professor of finance in the GSB, its 2007 Brattle Prize for a paper published in the Journal of Finance. Sufi, whose paper examines the syndicated loan market, is the ninth GSB faculty member to win the prize.

Physics of catastrophe
A $1.8 million grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation will launch a new research program examining catastrophic deformations such as the breakup of splashing water droplets and the sudden motion of landslides. The U of C allotted an additional $1.2 million to the team, which includes Margaret Gardel, assistant professor in physics; Heinrich Jaeger, professor in physics; Sidney Nagel, the Stein-Freiler distinguished service professor in physics; and Wendy Zhang, assistant professor in physics.

Mathematical distinction
The American Mathematical Society presented Carlos Kenig, the Louis Block distinguished service professor, with its Maxime Bocher Memorial Prize; the triennial prize recognizes a society member’s contributions to mathematical analysis. Kenig’s work examines the fields of harmonic analysis and dispersive equations, which can be applied to the study of heat, light, and other wave-related phenomena.

Press partners up
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is funding a partnership between the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and the University of California presses for a new series on South Asian studies: South Asia across the Disciplines. The series aims to publish six volumes a year across all three university presses.

Historical honors
The Hyde Park Historical Society has awarded its 2008 Marian and Leon Despres Preservation Award—named for Marian, PhB’30, PhD’36, and Leon Despres, PhB’27, JD’29, known as the “parents of preservation in Chicago”—to the U of C Medical Center for its restoration of the American School of Correspondence Building’s facade and first-floor main lobby. The 1906–07 structure houses the Medical Center’s planning, design, and construction offices, along with other office space.

Dedicated to the arts
The future site of the Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts was formally dedicated on January 8. The ceremony, held in Midway Studios, came eight months after Reva, X’43, and David Logan, AB’39, JD’41, and their family gave $35 million to support the University’s $100 million arts center, to be located at 60th Street and Ingleside Avenue. The center is slated to open in 2011.

Professors of distinction
Two faculty members have been named distinguished service professors: Steven Shevell, professor in psychology, ophthalmology & visual science, and the College, is now the Eliakim Hastings Moore distinguished service professor; and Geoffrey Stone, JD’71, formerly the Harry Kalven Jr. distinguished service professor in the Law School and the College, is now the Edward H. Levi distinguished service professor.

New chairs take their seats
Eight faculty members received endowed chairs: John Alverdy, professor in surgery; Albert Bendelac, investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Francisco Bezanilla, professor in biochemistry & molecular biology; Steven Collins, professor and chair of South Asian Languages & Civilizations and professor in the College; Judith Farquhar, AM’75, AM’79, PhD’86, professor in anthropology and the College; Sarah Gehlert, principal investigator and director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Health Disparities Research; Christopher Gomez, AB’77, chair of neurology; and Neil Guterman, faculty associate in the Chapin Hall Center for Children.

Sense of identity
The Covenant Foundation, which supports creative programming to strengthen Jewish identity, has awarded the Newberger Hillel Center a $150,000 grant. Hillel will use the funds to bring in artists, scholars, and other “adjunct educators” to mentor students on how Jewish ideas are relevant to their lives.

Back for an encore
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra plans to continue its University of Chicago Presents and Humanities Division residency through 2011. The partnership—which includes performances, community-focused educational programs for elementary- and high-school students and their families, and tutorials and mentoring for University students—began in 2005.