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NAA Honors Outstanding Alumni
At its 70th awards celebration the Northwestern Alumni Association saluted 18 alumni who are extraordinary people.
Women’s Board member Reneé Crown shares a happy moment with her husband, Lester, after he received the 2002 Alumni Medal, the Northwestern Alumni Association’s highest honor.

Photo by Jim Ziv

Connections — to Northwestern, family, community, country and indeed the world itself, especially after Sept. 11 — were never far from people’s minds at the 70th Northwestern Alumni Association Awards Celebration, held in April at Chicago’s Four Seasons Hotel.

Lester Crown (McC46), winner of the 2002 NAA Alumni Medal, the association’s highest honor, described Northwestern’s connection to the global community in his acceptance speech, calling to mind the impact of the terrorist attacks.

"Education worldwide offers the best promise to win the war against ignorance and closed minds, which are the basic seeds that spawn terrorism," he said. "We are fortunate that Northwestern is committed to that mission."

Crown, president of Henry Crown & Co., chair of Material Service Corp. and a director of defense supplier General Dynamics, was honored for outstanding professional achievement, service to the University and society at large. Currently a Northwestern life trustee, Crown has served as a member of the board of trustees for more than 40 years and with his family made major gifts to the University that led to the Rebecca Crown Center, the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion and the Crown Family Center for Jewish Studies.

Attorney and author Karen DeCrow (J59) was honored with the NAA’s Service to Society Award for her work in pursuit of gender equity. During her term in the 1970s as president of the National Organization for Women, DeCrow and NOW won a number of discrimination cases that allowed females to participate on an equal basis in athletics and in many professions. An early advocate for parental leave policies in the workplace, she is currently a private practice attorney representing clients with employment issues.

Alumni Service Awards

Five alumni won NAA Service awards for their years as volunteers on behalf of the University. Wade Fetzer III (KSM61), an advisory director of Goldman Sachs Group LP, is a founding member of the Kellogg School of Management’s Alumni Advisory Board and served for 13 years as its chair. During that time Fetzer restructured the board to give alumni members a more active role in the school.

Vicki Hood (WCAS74, KSM, L77), head of the employee benefits group at the Chicago law firm of Kirkland & Ellis, is a past president of the School of Law’s Alumni Association and a current member of the school’s Law Board. She is a founding member of the Council of One Hundred, which mentors women students and alumni, and a past member of the Kellogg school’s Alumni Advisory Board.

Harvard Business School professor Henry Reiling (WCAS60) has been an active fundraiser for the Judd and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and serves on the Northwestern Annual Fund’s executive committee. Reiling co-chaired Boston’s first Campaign Northwestern event, which laid the groundwork for subsequent successful campaign events around the country.

David Sanderson (WCAS55, FSM58), chair emeritus of the department of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., served on The Feinberg School of Medicine’s alumni national board and led the group as president from 1995 through 1997. In Scottsdale he volunteers as a host and recruiter for the Feinberg School.

For the past 10 years Louise Yao (N62) has held a variety of leadership positions with the Alumnae of Northwestern University and was president from 1998 through 2000. During her term the club raised more than $200,000 through its continuing education programs and awarded major gifts to the University.

The ceremony’s stage presentation, which included personal photos of recipients, created a touching connection for Yao in particular. As she approached the dais to receive her award, she saw a photo of herself with her late father John Stewart (McC30), taken at his 50th reunion, as the image was projected to the audience. "I felt like he was there with me," she said. "He would have been thrilled."

Alumni Merit Awards

This year’s 11 Alumni Merit Award winners demonstrate connection, commitment and dedication to others in many professions.

Richard Boronow (WCAS56, FSM59), a leading gynecological oncologist, is an international lecturer, author and researcher. He currently works in private practice and is a full professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

As president and CEO of naval aircraft carrier and submarine manufacturer Newport News Shipbuilding and later J.I. Case, Edward Campbell (McC52, KSM59) proved his leadership by turning around failing manufacturing operations. He currently serves as national chair of the U.S. Navy League Foundation.

Jack Guthman (WCAS60), a partner in the law firm of Shefsky & Froelich, is renowned in the Chicago real estate community for helping developers navigate local zoning laws for construction of such major building projects as Cityfront Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art. He is also an adjunct professor at the Kellogg School.

Alice Bourke Hayes (G72), president of the University of San Diego, established the Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice there. She previously served as executive vice president, provost and professor of biology at St. Louis University.

As co-CEO of Kraft Foods, Betsy Holden (GSESP78, KSM82) oversees the largest food operation in the United States. She is also board president of the Off the Street Club, which helps Chicago’s at-risk children.

Jerome Kenney (KSM67), a vice chair of Merrill Lynch & Co. responsible for client relationship management and a member of its executive management committee, helped establish the company’s leadership as head of corporate strategy. He is also a member of Kellogg’s Alumni Advisory Board.

Mark Lingen (D90, GD94, GFSM96), associate professor and director of the oral pathology division at Loyola University Medical Center, researches the genetics of cancer formation and cancers of the head and neck. He also teaches pathology and cancer biology at the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago.

Dean emeritus of the DePaul University School of Music, Frederick Miller (Mu57, GMu58) served as the Northwestern School of Music assistant director of bands from 1964 through 1970 and associate dean of the School of Music until 1976.

Charles Pecoraro (SCS71) is president of CP Enterprises, a marketing, advertising and public relations firm. He also teaches courses on direct marketing at Northwestern’s School of Continuing Studies.

Attorney Don Reuben (EB49, L52), of counsel with the Chicago law firm of Altheimer & Gray, served as managing partner of three major Chicago law firms and tried a number of high-profile cases in state and federal courts. For Reuben the evening’s connections led to an extremely pleasant surprise. Unbeknown to him beforehand, "Reuben’s Raiders," a group of prominent Chicago-area attorneys he mentored over the years, attended the awards event. "It was a dazzling evening that ended much too soon for Reuben’s Raiders," he said.

Mary Lou Song (J91), senior product manager for eBay Community, was eBay’s first public relations manager and helped the Internet company rise to the top of the global online marketplace.

Winners of 2003’s NAA award winners will be announced in December. Check the NAA Web site, www.alumni.northwestern.edu, at that time for more information.

– Michele Hogan

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