The University of Chicago Magazine
Students' LeaderJoseph Ceithaml, SB'37, PhD'41, was awarded the University Alumni Service Medal.
As a devoted instructor, as a distinguished scholar, and as director of medical school admission and dean of students and in the Biological Sciences Division, Joseph Ceithaml has had a profound influence on the University and at medical schools across the country.
Guided by the conviction that a class should be diverse in character and in origins, Ceithaml fought the idea that a standard "pre-med" curriculum was necessary. In the 1950s, he predicted that medical students would have an increasing need for financial assistance. With the support of alumni, he established a loan fund system still in place today. He constantly worked to identify new sources of aid and helped students to secure these fellowships.
Greatly admired as a classroom teacher, he earned a Quantrell award in 1950. In his early years on the faculty, he and his late wife, Ann, served as resident heads of Burton-Judson Courts. Ceithaml's wisdom proved important in advising students of widely differing ages who enrolled in the University immediately after World War II.
The Medical Alumni Association honored Ceithaml with its Distinguished Service award in 1973 and its Gold Key award in 1982. And the medical school has named its student-alumni center for Ceithaml, recognizing the more than 3,000 medical students who matriculated during his tenure as dean.
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