The University of Chicago Magazine

June 1997



Paul Sereno, associate professor in organismal biology & anatomy, and Homi Bhabha, the Chester D. Tripp professor in the Humanities, were numbered among "100 people to watch in the next millennium" in the April 21 issue of Newsweek. "This is not a roster of the great and powerful, or the beautiful and celebritous," the magazine avowed. Still, Sereno did turn up in the May 5 issue of People, which named him one of its "50 Most Beautiful People" for 1997. Asked how he retained his youthful good looks, the 39-year-old paleontologist deadpanned: "Go out into the middle of the Sahara for four months without showering. It does wonders for your skin."

The June issue of Chicago magazine features an intimate glimpse inside the U of C presidential residence, with Hugo Sonnenschein giving a guided tour to the writer, Christine Newman, AB'73, AM'74. The 102-year-old home, built for William Rainey Harper, bears the influence of its newest residents: dignified, yet warm. With the help of interior decorator Larry Boeder--a friend since the '70s, when Boeder and his wife lived next door to Hugo (then a Northwestern professor) and his wife, Beth--the Sonnenscheins worked to make the house a showcase for long-lost campus treasures, including an old French trunk, carved with fleurs-de-lis, discovered in the basement of Ida Noyes; a long camelback sofa, also reclaimed from Ida Noyes; and a tapestry that had been stored at Rockefeller Chapel.

"The budget was not big," Boeder explained, "so every time we found something that we could use, it was great." Artwork on loan from the Smart Museum includes a Leon Kroll painting above the living-room sofa, while the library's floor-to-ceiling mahogany shelves display artifacts from the Oriental Institute. A bit of the president's own history has been added: In a "dark hallway between the dining room and the kitchen," Newman writes, "there is a remembrance from Hugo's inauguration--a banner bearing the salutation Let the Sonnenschein in...."--Tim Andrew Obermiller

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