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Charles D. O’Connell, AM’47, the 1999 University Service Medalist, also received a standing ovation from the Rockefeller audience. Even the rare few who had not known Chuck O’Connell during his 37 years of University service—whether as director of University admissions and aid, secretary of the faculties, associate professor, dean of students, or vice president—were moved by his remarks: “Although the expression had not yet gained currency, someone might well have said to me in those early years, ‘Come on, O’Connell, get a life!’ I have to respond that I did get a life, a wonderful life, and a wonderful wife, too, both at this remarkable university.”

O’Connell was instrumental in building the College’s enrollment of talented students, while also strengthening its financial-aid system. He engaged faculty in the College admissions selection process, and started the house masters program in the residence halls. In his final years at Chicago, O’Connell helped to revitalize alumni programs, establishing both the alumni travel program and the University of Chicago Club of Metropolitan Chicago.

Although not an athlete, he led the Maroons to new levels of intercollegiate play. In 1969, he brought back football as an intercollegiate sport, and he played a major role in the 1980s formation of the University Athletic Association, persuading the U of C to become a charter member. O’Connell also represented national student concerns, chairing the board of trustees of the College Entrance Examination Board and serving as a trustee of the Educational Testing Service.

Roger H. Hildebrand is the 1999 Norman Maclean Faculty Award winner. Hildebrand, who is the Samuel K. Allison distinguished service professor emeritus of physics, astronomy, and astrophysics, is a teacher and researcher, mentor, and administrator who has devoted 50 years to the University. Describing Hildebrand’s undergraduate physics lectures, one student said, “It was like having a guest lecturer every day. In lectures he would give short glimpses into the work he was doing in astrophysics, while integrating the topics being presented in class.” Hildebrand’s concern for students extends beyond those of his chosen discipline. After learning that Bartlett Gym had inadequate locker rooms for women, he took over as chair of the athletic facilities committee and found a way to plan and fund the needed improvements. In retirement, Hildebrand has continued to conduct research and advise Ph.D. students.


Stanley Freehling, X’46, was recognized with an Alumni Service Citation. A life trustee, Freehling has been active on behalf of both the Court Theatre and the Smart Museum, helping to increase their visibility in the city of Chicago’s cultural community. In 1997, as co-chair of the Smart’s annual autumn benefit, Freehling attracted a crowd of more than 500 people and raised more than twice the projected funds.


Edwin W. Parkhurst Jr., MBA’68, was also recognized with an Alumni Service Citation. Parkhurst has played a major role in assuring that the University’s graduate program in health administration and policy combines professional relevancy and the highest standards of graduate education. He has chaired several of the Alumni Association task forces and served as treasurer, secretary, and chair of the SSA’s alumni council. In addition, Parkhurst has been an invaluable mentor for the program’s students and recent graduates.

Maria Del Favero, AB’87, winner of a Young Alumni Service Citation, was one of two alumni under the age of 35 who were recognized for their contributions to the University. A tireless University organizer, booster, and fund-raiser, Del Favero has been an active member of the University of Chicago Club of Metropolitan Chicago, serving both as a board member and leader of the program committee. Through her efforts as gift chair for both her 5th and 10th reunions, the Class of 1987 broke all previous attendance records.


Gilbert Sorebo, AB’92, who also received a young Alumni Service Citation, was an active volunteer even before his graduation, leading efforts to improve student life on campus. Sorebo is an active member of the alumni schools committee, and he chaired the 1998 annual dinner of the University of Chicago Club in Washington, D.C. His calls and letters encouraging fellow alumni to support Chicago have led to increased class participation and a doubling of total giving by the Class of 1992.

Timuel D. Black, AM’54, received a Public Service Citation. An activist, educator, and leader in the cause of social justice for more than four decades, Black was a pioneer in the fight against racial segregation in Chicago and its public school system. He remains active in community affairs as a member of the board of directors for the African American AIDS Network and an adviser to the Newberry Library’s Chicago Metro-History Project. He is also editing an oral history drawn from the recollections of 150 African-American citizens of Chicago’s West and South Sides.


Donna R. Lenhoff, AB’72, honored with a Public Service Citation, is a nationally known advocate for the rights of women and families. Among her accomplishments was the organizing of a 200-member coalition to spearhead the nine-year campaign for the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. As general counsel at the National Partnership for Women and Families, Lenhoff has helped build the organization’s clout. Last year, Working Mother magazine named her one of the “25 Most Influential Working Mothers in America.”

Alexander Polikoff, AB’48, AM’50, JD’53, winner of a Public Service Citation, has established a long record of outstanding contributions to law and social justice. Recognized as one of the country’s premier public-interest lawyers, Polikoff this spring concluded 29 years as executive director of Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, a Chicago public-interest law and policy center. He has carried out litigation in civil rights and civil liberties, housing, and environmental protection, including a successful argument before the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Gautreaux public-housing case.


Bernice T. Weissbourd, X’45, received a Public Service Citation for her work as an early childhood educator and leader of the family support movement. In 1976, Weissbourd founded Family Focus, a non-profit agency providing comprehensive programs for families in diverse communities. She is also the founding president of Family Resource Coalition of America, a national organization serving as a resource on family support to program developers, researchers, policy-makers, and the media.

John M. Buchanan, DB’63, winner of a Professional Achievement Citation, is the elected moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the highest elected office in the denomination. As pastor of Chicago’s Fourth Presbyterian Church, he is known for a preaching style that combines the best of ongoing scholarship with attention to the critical issues facing the church and society. Buchanan also serves on the governing board of the National Council of Churches and was recently named editor and publisher of The Christian Century.


George A. Drake, DB’62, AM’63, PhD’65, received a Professional Achievement Citation. Drake was president of Iowa’s Grinnell College from 1979 through 1991, overseeing the expansion of its facilities and curricular development, strengthening the emphasis on faculty teaching and scholarship, and broadening opportunities for minority students. Now chairing the board of directors of the Iowa Peace Institute, Drake—who with his wife served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho before returning to the Grinnell faculty as a history professor—has helped generate funding to continue the institute’s programs in conflict management and dispute resolution.

Warren E. Henry, PhD’41, who received a Professional Achievement Citation in absentia, is a professor emeritus of physics at Howard University. For almost seven decades, Henry has worked in the fields of magnetism and superconductivity. As one of the most eminent black scientists in the nation’s history, he has been a role model for thousands of African-American students. Elected a fellow in the American Physics Society, he also chaired the society’s committee on minorities in physics.


Daniel Joseph, AM’50, who also received a Professional Achievement Citation, is internationally known for his contributions to research and education in fluid mechanics. His body of creative and original work, coupled with his patient leadership and support of countless graduate students, has produced significant contributions to science. Joseph, the Regents professor and the Russell J. Penrose professor at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Art and Sciences.

Jesse McDonald, AM’73, was recognized with a Professional Achievement Citation. Since 1994, the SSA graduate has been director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, devoting himself to working on behalf of Illinois’ youngest and most vulnerable citizens. As a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Consultation Workgroup on Outcome Measures, McDonald has also had a significant effect on improving the nation’s policies and practice of human-service delivery.
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