For the record

Center of innovation
Construction begins in September on the $215 million William Eckhardt Research Center, the future home of the Physical Sciences Division and the new Institute for Molecular Engineering. Named in recognition of Eckhardt, SM’70, whose $20 million gift supports advanced science, the 265,000-square-foot building is scheduled to open in February 2015 on the west side of Ellis Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets. The Eckhardt Center will house 24 molecular-engineering faculty members and 220 from astronomy and astrophysics and the Kavli, Fermi, and Franck institutes.

New faculty composition
Augusta Read Thomas, a composer renowned for dramatic music, has been named University professor of composition in the Department of Music and the College, effective in July. Thomas becomes the fifth University professor currently on the faculty and the 16th ever to hold the title.

A stronger support system
The University received $512 million in sponsored research funding in fiscal 2010, an 8.5 percent increase from the previous year. Chicago received 2,528 grants—84 percent from federal agencies. Federal funding rose 20 percent from last year, while support from private sponsors fell by one-third, a decline attributable in part to two large 2009 foundation awards.

Three Rhodes to Oxford
Anna Alekseyeva, ’11, John Scotti, ’11, and Prerna Nadathur, AB’10, were among 32 American students awarded Rhodes Scholarships in November. Alekseyeva is a history and public-policy major, Scotti studies biological chemistry, and Nadathur is a mathematician and linguist. In the past 12 years, 19 University students have received the prestigious Rhodes Scholarships, which fund study at Oxford.

Marshall resources
Also in November, biological-sciences and Germanic-studies major Matthew Jones, ’11, and biological-sciences and economics graduate Ben Umans, AB’10, received Marshall Scholarships. The prize funds two or three years of graduate study in the United Kingdom.

Early-action applications rise
Early-action applications to the College for the Class of 2015 increased 18.5 percent from the previous year, to 6,960. Because early-action applicants often consider the University their first choice, says Dean of Admissions James G. Nondorf, the increase could signal a growing number of students highly motivated to attend the College.

Healthy contribution
A $5 million grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to strengthening civic health in America, will support the University of Chicago Medical Center. In recognition, the primary entrance to the Medical Center’s ten-story, 1.2-million-square-foot New Hospital Pavilion, to open in 2013, will be named the McCormick Foundation Lobby.

Social network
Psychologist John Cacioppo and neuroscientist Jean Decety are founding directors of a new professional organization, the Society for Social Neuroscience, which held its first conference in November, attracting 1,300 researchers from 35 countries. In a 1992 paper, Cacioppo helped coin “social neuroscience” as the field’s name.

Human capitalist
The Institute for New Economic Thinking, launched by billionaire philanthropist George Soros in the wake of the economic crisis, has awarded Nobel laureate James Heckman a $1.5 million grant. Heckman, the Henry Schultz distinguished service professor in economics, will use the grant to develop a three-year program in human-capital and economic-opportunity research.

Bowman, Hale model diversity
James Bowman, professor emeritus in pathology and medicine, and Medical Center administrative director Lynda Hale have been named the University’s 2011 Diversity Leadership Award recipients. Bowman, X’64, is an advocate for quality medical care in underserved communities. Hale volunteers for organizations such as Dress for Success, which provides career coaching and clothing for disadvantaged women.

A fellowship Divine
Dante scholar Laurence Hooper has been named the second recipient of the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Research Fellowship, a postdoctoral exchange program between the University and Cambridge’s Corpus Christi College. Jacob Lauinger, PhD’07, was the first fellow of the program, which supports early-career scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and religious studies.

Walsh wins House seat
Joe Walsh, MPP’91, became the U.S. representative of Illinois’s 8th congressional district, defeating incumbent Melissa Bean by fewer than 300 votes. A tea party candidate, Walsh won the Republican nomination in February but did not have GOP support in the general election. His November win came despite being outspent by Bean, $2 million to $500,000.

Programmed to succeed
For the third year in a row, a University team has qualified for the world finals of the International Collegiate Programming Contest. A second-place finish at the Mid-Central USA Regional competition in November earned the team, called Works in Theory, an invitation to the March 3 finals in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Korei Klein, Matthew Steffen (both ‘11), and second-year computer-science PhD student Denis Pankratov make up the team.

It all adds up for Keeley
Juliette Keeley, ‘11, was named the 2010 Izaak Wirszup fellow. Established to honor the late Chicago professor and leader in mathematics education, the fellowship recognizes a College student who works to improve math in schools. A public-policy major, Keeley has tutored students in Chicago schools through the Neighborhood Schools Program and the Polk Bros. Foundation Program for Improvement of CPS Mathematics Teaching, which Wirszup brought to the University.

Europe applauds Polish poet
Polish poet and essayist Adam Zagajewski, a visiting professor in the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought, received the biannual European Poetry Prize on October 29 in Treviso, Italy. Zagajewski’s poem, “Try to Praise the Mutilated World,” appeared in the New Yorker’s September 11 memorial issue. His most recent book is Eternal Enemies (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2008).

Maroons football streaks to title
The University of Chicago football team clinched its first UAA championship since 2005 with a 13–10 win over Washington University on November 13. The Maroons finished with an 8–2 record, its best since 1995, and their six-game winning streak to end the season was the team’s longest since 1913.

Heady experience
The University a capella group Voices in Your Head has been featured on three major compilations this yearSing 7, Best of College A Capella 2011, and Voices Only 2010. The 15-member, coed group recorded an original composition, “Boomerang,” for Sing 7.

Ransom noteworthy
Kim Ransom, founding director of the University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program, has been named a 2011 Chicago Community Trust fellow, one of ten nonprofit representatives selected. Ransom works with high-achieving Chicago Public Schools students pursuing higher-education opportunities—more than half are first-generation college students.

Cates leads Alumni Association
Damon Cates, MBA’05, a former University alumni relations and development staff member, has been named associate vice president for alumni relations and annual giving and executive director of the Alumni Association. Cates has worked for Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania for the past five years since leaving Chicago, where he managed funds for the Law School, the business school, and the Medical Center.

In one oar and out the other
The women’s crew team won a special medal at the Head of the Charles in October, the largest two-day regatta in the world. The women’s four placed third out of 30 in their race, one second behind the winners over a 3.2-mile course. The men’s four finished fifth out of 41 teams.


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