Philanthropist and alumna Patricia Holmes Buehler was among 21 individuals Northwestern honored last month at the 74th Alumni Awards Presentation. Each year, the University recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through outstanding professional and personal achievement and loyal service to Northwestern.
Buehler was awarded the Alumni Medal, the highest distinction awarded by the Alumni Association to alumni who have achieved eminence in their communities and fields of endeavors and have rendered exceptional service to the University.
Buehler, who received a bachelor of science degree in 1953 from the School of Communication, has made the success of Northwestern her primary vocation for more than 40 years.
Through her volunteer leadership and extensive philanthropy, she has advanced Northwestern's arts, athletics, and medical programs and has put the University at the forefront of the movement to improve the quality of life and quality of care for senior citizens.
A major gift from Ms. Buehler and her husband established the Buehler Center on Aging at the Feinberg School of Medicine. With the help of the Patricia and Albert C. Buehler Jr. Foundation and the Buehler Family Foundation, the couple also established the Buehler Sports Medicine Center at Ryan Field in 2002 and endowed scholarship funds in athletics and the School of Communication. Their major gifts also created the Buehler Chair in Geriatric Medicine at the Feinberg School, the A. C. Buehler Professorship in Hospital and Health Services Management at the Kellogg School of Management, and a chair at the Buehler Center on Aging.
Ms. Buehler, who became a member of the John Evans Club, the University's premier donor organization in 1963, received a Service Award from the Northwestern Alumni Association in 1982. She served as an alumni trustee for Northwestern from 1981 to 1986.
Service to Society
J. Philip Kirk Jr. was honored with the Service to Society Award.
A 1963 graduate with a J.D. degree from the School of Law, Kirk was as a “visionary civic leader whose professional, philanthropic and public service efforts have proven that communities are built through knowledge, culture and shared experience rather than by brick and mortar alone.”
The award, presented by the Northwestern Alumni Association, is presented to only person each year to recognize the voluntary efforts of alumni that contribute to the advancement of causes or the improvement of society.
Kirk combined a career in real estate law, urban development, and historic preservation with a personal commitment to philanthropy and public service. He is widely recognized for his work in revitalizing the downtown district of Kansas City, Mo., and for his support of cancer patients, the Boy Scouts of America, and many other community organizations.
In conjunction with other civic leaders in Kansas City, Kirk created a not-for-profit campus in the central business district that provided a home for 10 civic organizations -- including the YMCA, YWCA, American Cancer Society, and Heart of America United Way -- to keep them close to the residents they served. As a result of Kirk's vision and accomplishments, downtown Kansas City now serves as a model for other communities seeking to improve their downtown districts.
The Merit Award recognizes those who have distinguished themselves in their particular professions or fields of endeavor. Recipients were Gregory G. Berlanti (School of Communication, 1994), executive producer for Everwood and former executive producer and head writer for Dawson's Creek; Judith B. Biggert (School of Law, 1963), U.S. Representative, 13th District of Illinois; Kathryn Cathcart (School of Music, 1963), coach and conductor with the San Francisco Opera;
Douglas R. Conant (Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, 1973; Kellogg School of Management, 1976), president and CEO of Campbell Soup; Promod Haque (McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, 1974; McCormick School, 1976; Kellogg School, 1983), managing partner at Norwest Venture Partners; Aleksandar Hemon (School of Continuing Studies, 1996), author of the short story collection The Question of Bruno and the novel Nowhere Man, recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship;
George W. Lingen Jr. (Dental School, 1962), former president of the Illinois State Dental Society and a longtime leader in the Chicago Dental Society; Ray B. Loeschner (School of Education and Social Policy, 1957; School of Education and Social Policy, 1962), president of Loeschner Enterprises and former president of Olivet College; William McDermott (Kellogg School, 1997), president and CEO of SAP Americas;
David J. Skorton (Weinberg College, 1970; Feinberg School of Medicine, 1974), president of Cornell University and former president of the University of Iowa; Joseph A. Walder (Weinberg College, 1973; Feinberg School, 1975; Graduate School, 1979), professor in the department of biochemistry at the University of Iowa and head of Integrated DNA Technologies;
Julia D. Wallace (Medill School of Journalism, 1978), editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Mary A. Zimmerman (School of Communication, 1982; School of Communication, 1985; School of Communication, 1994), member of the Lookingglass Theatre Company and artistic associate of the Goodman Theatre, recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and director of the Tony award-winning play Metamorphoses.
The Alumni Service Award is given in recognition of loyal service voluntarily rendered to the University. Recipients were Irwin Benuck (Feinberg School of Medicine, 1979; Feinberg School, 1982), professor of clinical pediatrics in the Feinberg School; Howard S. Dubin (Medill School of Journalism, 1954), founder of the Medill Alumni Association; Todd Alan Marshall Happer (Medill School, 1988), copresident of the Medill Club of Greater New York;
Warren R. Haug (McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, 1963; McCormick School, 1965), adjunct professor in the department of chemical and biological engineering; Robert C. Knuepfer Jr. (Kellogg School of Management, 1978; School of Law, 1978), adjunct professor in the Kellogg School and the School of Law, former chair of the Kellogg Alumni Advisory Board and class representative for the School of Law; and Carter G. Phillips (Graduate School, 1975; School of Law, 1977), member of the Northwestern Law Board and former chair.