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Distinguished Alumni Honored (page 3)

April 12, 2005


Dawn Clark Netsch
BA, Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, 1948
JD, School of Law, 1952

Over the past half century Dawn Clark Netsch has made pioneering contributions to Illinois as a public servant, an elected official, and a Northwestern law professor.

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Netsch was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Northwestern, where she graduated with distinction in 1948. She went on to attend Northwestern’s School of Law, serving as associate editor of the Law Review and earning membership in the Order of the Coif.

After receiving her JD in 1952 — ranking first in her class — Netsch began her career in public service on the staff of Illinois Governor Adlai E. Stevenson’s 1952 presidential campaign. At its conclusion she practiced law, primarily antitrust, with the prestigious firm of Covington and Burling in Washington, D.C., and then returned to Chicago to clerk for federal judge Julius Hoffman. When Governor Stevenson ran for president again in 1956, she served as a researcher on his speechwriting team. Following the second unsuccessful Stevenson campaign, Netsch returned to the practice of antitrust law in Chicago. In 1961 she joined the staff of Illinois Governor Otto Kerner as a legislative and legal aide.

In 1969 Netsch was elected to the Illinois Constitutional Convention, serving as vice chair of the committee on revenue and finance. Drawing on her legal acumen, she became one of the major architects of the greatly modernized 1970 Illinois constitution, which guaranteed equal rights for women, fair employment, open housing, and the right to privacy.

Two years later Netsch was elected to the Illinois State Senate to represent the fourth legislative district. She won reelection five times, serving from 1973 to 1991. Widely acknowledged as the Senate’s leading authority on revenue, taxation, and public finance issues, she chaired the revenue committee and cochaired the Illinois Economic and Fiscal Commission.

While in the Senate, Netsch sponsored and helped pass legislation that advanced women’s rights, toughened penalties for rapists, reformed public utility laws, and helped consumers save money on medical costs. She was also a staunch advocate of civil liberties, sponsoring the AIDS Confidentiality Act and the Personal Records Protection Act.

In 1990 Netsch made history as the first woman to win statewide executive office in Illinois when she was elected state comptroller. At a time of extreme fiscal crisis for the state, Netsch used her position to educate the public — and the media — on fiscal matters as well as to sponsor legislative and administrative fiscal reforms. Four years later Netsch again broke new ground when she won a four-way primary to become the Democratic nominee for governor — the first and, to date, only time in the state’s history that a woman has been chosen as a major party’s gubernatorial candidate. Netsch has remained active in state politics, serving Governor Rod Blagojevich (WCAS79) as a member of his transition team on ethics and helping craft a sweeping ethics bill that was passed by the legislature in 2004.

A professor at Northwestern’s School of Law for 40 years, Netsch continues to teach as a professor emerita. State and Local Government in a Federal System, a textbook she coauthored that is now in its fifth edition, is widely used in law schools throughout the country. Netsch and her husband, Walter (H80) — an internationally respected architect who designed Northwestern’s lakefill, Rebecca Crown Center, and University Library — have been longtime contributors to the annual Law School and Library funds.

Chair of the board of the American Judicature Society, Netsch has served on the boards of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, the Illinois Women’s Institute for Leadership, Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, and the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities.

In the past four decades Netsch has received dozens of awards. Recent honors include the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform’s 2004 Paul Simon Public Service Award, the American Civil Liberties Union’s 2002 Roger Baldwin Lifetime Achievement Award, and the first annual Justice John Paul Stevens Award.

Dawn Clark and Walter Netsch live on Chicago’s North Side.

Joseph H. Wender
BSBA, Evanston School of Business, 1966

A distinguished leader in the financial industry, Joseph Wender has won further distinction as a dedicated supporter of the arts and biotechnology research.

Wender has enjoyed a 34-year career at the global investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, where he is senior director of the Financial Institutions Group and advisory director. Specializing in mergers and banking industry transactions with the firm, he has been instrumental in the mergers of BankAmerica with Nations, Wells Fargo with Norwest, and Chase with Chemical.

A native of Norman, Oklahoma, Wender graduated with highest distinction from the Evanston School of Business in 1966. While at Northwestern he also took many courses in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and he remains deeply committed to liberal arts education. As a student he was an Austin scholar, president of the Interfraternity Council, and a member of the Deru Senior Honorary Society, Phi Eta Sigma men’s honorary, Beta Gamma Epsilon business honorary, Wildcat Council, and School of Business Student Executive Committee.

After Northwestern, Wender earned a JD from Yale University Law School in 1969 and an MBA from Harvard University Business School in 1971. That same year he joined Goldman Sachs, where he became general partner in 1982. He founded its Financial Institutions Group and led it for more than 15 years.

Wender lends his expertise to a variety of corporate boards. He chairs the audit committee and compensation committee of Isis Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded company engaged in discovering and developing novel human therapeutic compounds, and is a director of Neurome, a La Jolla, California–based biotechnology company that seeks therapeutic solutions to human neurodegenerative diseases. A director of the Internet affinity bank Affinity Financial, he also chairs the compensation committee of First Coastal Bancshares.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Wender and his wife, Ann Colgin, are actively involved in the production of ultrapremium Napa Valley red wine, which is sold under the Colgin Cellars label. As a volunteer Wender is the former president and current vice chair and treasurer of COPIA, the American Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts, a not-for-profit cultural center and museum that investigates and celebrates the culture of the collective table through wine, food, and the arts. Also a life director of the Chicago Joffrey Ballet, Wender chairs the audit committee of the Actors’ Fund and the finance committee of St. Helena Hospital in St. Helena, California.

A member of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors and the John Evans Club, Wender established the Wender Fund for Business Programs at Weinberg College in 1995. In 2000 his pledge established the Simon H. Wender Research Fund for Chemistry. With the late trustee Sherman Lewis (WCAS58) Wender funded the Wender-Lewis Professorship, which recognizes an outstanding teacher and researcher in any Weinberg College department. In 2001 Wender served on his 35th class reunion committee. He received the Northwestern Alumni Association’s Merit Award for the Kellogg School of Management in 1999.

Wender and his wife, Ann, commute between their residences in Los Angeles and Napa Valley. He is the father of Amy (KSM99) and Kathryn Wender and brother of Sheryl Wender (SESP73).


Timothy C. Louis
BS, School of Communication, 1986
MA, School of Communication, 1987

Dedicated to advancing the field of audiology education, Timothy Louis has also achieved success as a venture capitalist and as a consultant in information technology. These successes, in turn, have enabled him to further his support of audiology — no longer as a practitioner, but now as a philanthropist.

Louis is a founder and the board president of Desert Voices Oral Learning Center, a private oral school in Phoenix where children with hearing impairments learn to listen, talk, and participate more fully in school and everyday life. Since 1996 the school has taught children the skills necessary for understanding and speaking to others. Ranging from infancy to age nine, the children also learn reading, math, science, social studies, and other academic subjects. The ultimate goal is for students to acquire age-appropriate language skills in order to mainstream into a traditional school with hearing children their age.

Louis supports audiology education in academia as well. Through his active involvement with the Audiology Foundation of America and the Arizona School of Health Sciences, he lobbied for and helped establish that school’s doctoral program in audiology. The degree is designed to prepare professionals to become skilled in a wide variety of diagnostic, rehabilitative, habilitative, and related areas in the profession and practice of audiology.

“It is because of Northwestern’s distribution requirements that I took my first class in communication sciences and disorders,” recalls Louis. “That class — Fluency, Disfluency, and Stuttering, taught by Hugo Gregory (C51, GC52) — is what piqued my interest in speech pathology and audiology. He was an outstanding professor with a clear passion for his field, and he really influenced me to change my major.”

Louis earned a bachelor’s degree in communicative disorders and a master’s degree in audiology and hearing impairment. His teachers included Mead Killion (GC79), whom he describes as “my all-time favorite professor. He put his heart and soul into helping people hear better through better technology. He convinced me to do the same through better service.”

After practicing audiology in Houston, Louis returned to his hometown of Phoenix and earned an MBA in financial management and markets from Arizona State University. He has spent the last decade as the principal of Desert Capital Investments, LLC, a venture capital fund focused on seed-level financing for technology companies in the Southwest. Louis has financed and been involved at a board level with such successful enterprises as Mobility Electronics, the Schirf Brewing Company, True Gravity Enterprises, and Vyatek Sports. Until its sale to Credit Suisse Private Bank in 2002, he was an owner and director of Frye-Louis Capital Management, a high-net-worth family asset management firm based in Chicago.

Owner and chair of Integration Consulting Group, Louis is also a partner and vice president of finance and corporate development for the r-smart group, a leading full-service provider of open-source solutions for education. He is a member of the Titus Cycles board of directors and previously served on the board of Johnson Polymer, a specialty chemical company and affiliate of Johnson-Diversey. In the not-for-profit sector, his board memberships have included A. T. Still University of Health Sciences, the Audiology Foundation of America, and the Association of Houston Audiologists.

Louis also served as vice president of the Phoenix Thunderbirds, a philanthropic group that organizes the annual Phoenix/FBR Open. This PGA golf tournament benefits Arizona Special Olympics, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Boys and Girls Club, Homeward Bound, and other charities.

An avid collector of modern art and Bordeaux wine, Louis heads the Phoenix chapter of the Commanderie de Bordeaux, an exclusive club devoted to Bordeaux wines and the pageantry surrounding the region’s wine-producing chateaux. His outdoor passions are golf, mountain biking, and road biking. Having competed in his first marathon and duathlon, he is currently training for his first triathlon in May.

Louis and his wife, Amy Hagan Louis (McC86), are the parents of Henrietta, Madeline, Curt, and Clark. The family resides in Phoenix.


Ralph Charles Friedenberg
BA, Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, 1959
MD, Feinberg School of Medicine, 1963
GME, Feinberg School of Medicine, 1969

A physician and diabetes specialist, Ralph Charles Friedenberg has been a dedicated member of the Northwestern alumni community for more than three decades.

In the late 1970s Friedenberg saw the need for an alumni group in New Mexico, and after founding the NU Club of Albuquerque in 1978, he served as its president until 1986. He has also supported the University as a regent and an Alumni Admissions Council member.

Born in Brooklyn, Friedenberg was nine years old when his family moved to Albuquerque, where he attended elementary and high school. His father, a physician, had a medical practice in Albuquerque, and Friedenberg chose to follow the same path.

Of his undergraduate years as a chemistry major in Northwestern’s rigorous premedical program, Friedenberg remembers tense periods of studying and competition as well as attending football games, a stint on the debate team, and the camaraderie of living with friends in Hinman House for three years. He also took advantage of off-campus life, exploring the city and learning to appreciate classical music at Chicago Symphony Orchestra concerts.

Medical school was “exciting and intense,” Friedenberg recalls. “Much of what success I have enjoyed as a physician stems from the outstanding teaching I experienced and the many wonderful examples set for me.”

After receiving his MD, Friedenberg completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Illinois Research Hospital, interrupted by two years of service with the U.S. Army Medical Corps in Japan during the Vietnam War. He later came back to Northwestern for a fellowship in endocrinology.

Friedenberg returned to Albuquerque in 1969 to join his father’s practice. After serving as chief of medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital (1972–73), he became Presbyterian Health Center’s vice chief of staff in 1973 and its chief of staff in 1975. In 1986 he was named medical director of the hospital’s Diabetes Center, a post he held for three years until becoming medical director of the Diabetes Center of New Mexico, where he served until his retirement in 2000.

From 1969 until 2000 Friedenberg was a clinical associate in medicine at the New Mexico School of Medicine, certified in internal medicine and in endocrinology and metabolism. His research in the fields of diabetes and endocrinology has been published in Diabetes, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, and the Rocky Mountain Medical Journal.

A fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Clinical Endocrinology, Friedenberg served on the New Mexico Diabetes Collaborative Leadership and Planning Committee and is a member of the American Diabetes Association and the Endocrine Society. In 2002 he won the Presbyterian Health Care Foundation’s Rev. Hugh A. Cooper Award in recognition of outstanding medical service.

A longtime supporter of his alma mater, Friedenberg has been a member of the John Evans Club since 1984 and is a charter member of both the Wilson Society and the Murphy Society, which raise funds for the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, respectively. He also serves on the Northwestern Alumni Association’s Reunion Committee and the Alumni Admissions Council. From 1988 to 1989 he was a member of the Albuquerque Alumni Board.

Friedenberg has four adult children. He lives in Gig Harbor, Washington, with his wife, Betty A. Hagaman, an ophthalmologist.

Peter W. Friedmann
BS, School of Communication, 1979

Pete Friedmann’s efforts to celebrate Northwestern’s past as well as contribute to its future have not only enriched the University but also ensured his place in Northwestern lore.

Always very involved in campus activities as a student, Friedmann made a lasting impression on the University as an alumnus by cofounding the Northwestern University Marching and Band Alumni Organization (NUMBALUMS), the official alumni group for all Northwestern band ensembles. Formally established in October 1999, NUMBALUMS saw its membership increase to more than 400 within a year. Friedmann served as the organization’s first president, expanding the group exponentially and organizing Homecoming activities, pep bands, and special events. Since becoming immediate past president in 2002, Friedmann has remained very involved with the still-growing group.

As a radio/television/film major at Northwestern, Friedmann played clarinet in the Marching Band and was elected the band’s Spirit Leader. He also took part in two Waa-Mu productions and was active in various capacities at WNUR, including a stint as news director.

Since graduating, Friedmann has been no less involved with the University. In addition to his work with NUMBALUMS, Friedmann has served as the announcer for the Northwestern University Wildcat Marching Band for 24 seasons, calling the action for every NUMB performance. He has also chaired the School of Communication Alumni Board and served as a member of the NU Club of Chicago, the Northwestern Alumni Association Reunion Committee, and the NAA Clubs Committee.

Professionally, Friedmann is an independent communications and marketing consultant; previously he served as the director of stakeholder relations for Baxter International. A member of the American Association of Medical Society Executives, he chaired AAMSE’s communication–public relations special interest group from 1997 to 2003. While on the staff of the American Medical Association, Friedmann developed and managed AMA’s “National House Call,” the association’s most visible and effective vehicle for advocating public policy issues.

Friedmann has been the announcer for the Wheaton (Illinois) Municipal Band for 23 years and has also contributed to his community as a campaign volunteer-consultant for United Glenview Party. He is a former member of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association and the Chicago Area Public Affairs Group.

“Perhaps the wisest decision I’ve ever made was to attend Northwestern,” says Friedmann. “I can trace many of my professional and personal successes to my Northwestern roots, and the University remains a focal point in my life. The scope and nature of my liberal arts education, coupled with the challenge for excellence — both from student peers and faculty — provided the foundation for my professional standards, ethics, and accomplishments.”

Among his favorite undergraduate memories are his first Marching Band rehearsal, a White House conference of college news directors and editors where he met President Jimmy Carter, and making up “new and improved” versions of opposing schools’ fight songs during football games. He credits many of his former professors — especially the late John P. Paynter, director of bands — with profoundly influencing his life.

Friedmann owes one other important thing to Northwestern: his wife, Karen Laner (C80). The couple met as students and currently lives in Glenview, Illinois.

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