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Welcome to the FEBRUARY issue of UCHICAGO.EDU, a monthly e-bulletin bringing you online news about the University of Chicago and its larger community of alumni and friends.

News from Chicago

* Chicago's Response to the Crisis in Sudan
Citing the institution's long-standing practice of not taking explicit positions on social and political issues that do not have a direct bearing on the University, on February 2 President Robert Zimmer announced that Chicago's trustees had voted against a student-led proposal to divest the University's holdings in companies doing business in Sudan. Rather, the University will address the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region by funding faculty and student work focused on the issue:

* Moving On Up: Aid for Grad Students in Humanities, Social Sciences
Over the next six years Chicago will allocate an additional $50 million in graduate aid to ensure that doctoral students in the Humanities and Social Sciences divisions receive some of higher education’s most generous support. The program begins this fall, when a typical, five-year base aid package for incoming graduate students in those areas will include tuition, health insurance, a $19,000 annual stipend for living expenses, and two summers of research support:

* Doc Films Celebrates its Diamond Jubilee
The nation's oldest student film society turns 75 this year, with year-long programming to mark the occasion. Although there's some debate about the date of Doc’s founding, its genesis came in 1932, when Chicago’s International House began what Doc historian Kyle Westphal, ’07, calls an “ambitious film-screening program." For more on the celebration:

Research at Chicago

photo: research at chicago* Back When Carbon Dioxide Saved the Planet
Some 3.75 billion years ago, the greenhouse gas CO2 likely saved the planet from turning to ice, says Chicago geophysicist Nicolas Dauphas. With scientists from the University of Colorado, he analyzed the iron composition of ancient rocks from northern Quebec, finding the first evidence that early oceans included iron carbonates, which only form in an atmosphere rich with carbon dioxide. Present at much higher levels than today, the gas would have acted as a planetary thermostat, keeping Earth hospitable to life:

* Shades of Black Opinion Charted
According to a new comprehensive national study of youth opinions, blacks are more likely than Hispanics and whites to use protection during sex, are critical consumers of rap music and videos, and are more conservative in their social attitudes than their 15- to 25-year-old peers. Chicago political scientist Cathy Cohen leads the Black Youth Project, launched to provide a more comprehensive and complex perspective of African American teens and young adults:

Today @ UChiBLOGo

* Murder on a Budget
The Magazine's Web log hears from the Chicago brains behind a new indie film:

From the Magazine

* Inquiring Minds Want to Know...
What book from a College course do you still keep on your bookshelves and return to after all these years? What makes this book remain so near and dear to your heart and mind? Tell us about that favorite literary artifact from your student days, and we’ll share our favorite answers with your fellow alumni as part of a special supplement to the Magazine's May-June issue. To ensure we receive your answer in time, write us by March 9, 2007—with "College Text" in the subject line:

From the University of Chicago Alumni Association

photo: alumni medal James Watson* Nobelist Will Receive 2007 University Alumni Medal
James Dewey Watson, SB’47, has been chosen to receive the University Alumni Medal during Alumni Weekend Convocation in Rockefeller Chapel on Saturday, June 2, 2007. Watson—who with Francis Crick won the 1962 Nobel Prize for their discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA—will deliver the Convocation address. The event is free and open to the public:

* Your Alma Mater Wants You: Alumni Relations and Development Openings
If you have an interest in providing programs and services for your fellow alumni or in raising support for your alma mater, this is the time to act. Several positions are open in alumni relations and development. For information on positions and to fill out an electronic application:

* Cultural Immersion in Southern China
In the 13th century, Marco Polo called the Chinese city of Hangzhou “a paradise on earth.” You will have the chance to see this paradise for yourself and learn firsthand from Chinese scholars, artists, writers, and teachers during our exclusive April 18–28 program, which begins with a week in Hangzhou and then visits Suzhou and Shanghai.

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UCHICAGO.EDU is a joint project of the University of Chicago Magazine and the University of Chicago Alumni Association. Please send your comments and suggestions to