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Salute to Distinguished Alumni

Outstanding alumni from around the country honored at annual event

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Thomas Z. Hayward Jr., a Northwestern University Life Trustee and past president of the Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA), was given the Alumni Medal, the top award bestowed by the association, during the annual ceremony that brought together more than 450 alumni, faculty, administrators, family and friends.

Eighteen others received Alumni Merit, Service and Emerging Leader awards, and a non-alumnus was recognized for his service to the University during the 79th annual Alumni Awards ceremony held March 3 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago.

Since 1932, the NAA has honored alumni who have distinguished themselves as outstanding professional and personal achievers in their fields and who have loyally dedicated their time and service to their alma mater. This year’s award recipients have earned acclaim in business, engineering, journalism, the arts, law, athletics, medicine and health care.

In opening remarks, University President Morton Schapiro thanked the award recipients for their impressive contributions to the world and to Northwestern.

Welcoming addresses were given by Charles L. Katzenmeyer, president of the NAA and Trustee Ex-Officio; Catherine L. Stembridge, associate vice-president, Office of Alumni Relations and Development; and Joan Etten Krall, the new executive director of the NAA.

The awards were presented by Michael Wilbon, the popular ESPN commentator, University Trustee and 1980 Medill alumnus, and NAA Executive Director Krall, who graduated from the School of Communication (SOC) in 1979 and received a graduate degree from SOC in 1980. 

Award recipients follow:

To view extended profiles of each of the 2012 honorees, visit:

Thomas Z. Hayward Jr., a Life Trustee and member of the executive committee, was honored with the Alumni Medal, the mark of highest distinction granted to a Northwestern alumnus or alumna for attaining superior professional distinction and/or exemplary volunteer service to society, with an outstanding record of service to Northwestern University.

Hayward graduated from the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in 1962 and the School of Law in 1965. A prominent real estate and corporate law expert, his early involvement with the NAA as president of the NU Club of Chicago earned him an Alumni Service Award in 1974. He then served as NAA president from 1976 to 1980 and an Alumni Trustee from 1980 to 1984. He also chaired the Alumni Regents, the John Evans Club and the Trustees’ Alumni Relations and Development Committee and he has chaired or co-chaired every reunion for the Class of 1962. From 1997 to 2010, he served as a member and vice chairman of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees. During his time on the Board, he co-chaired Campaign Northwestern -- an initiative that raised $1.5 billion and laid much of the groundwork for the University’s current upward trajectory. He lives in Barrington Hills, Ill., and Naples, Fla.

Alumni Merit Awards were given to 12 alumni for high achievement in a profession or field of endeavor. Recipients were chosen by the schools they attended.

Earning Alumni Merit Awards were Harold V. Anagnos, a 1976 graduate of the School of Continuing Studies (SCS) and 1990 graduate of the Kellogg School of Management, a lecturer on organizational behavior at SCS, who has spent the better part of 35 years in the field of light-emitting and –sensing electronics. Anagnos is founder of the global manufacturer Lumex, Inc., as well as BXA Associates, a company that provides investment and advisory services for businesses in manufacturing and distribution. He lives in Long Grove, Ill.; Kevin B. Blackistone, a 1981 Medill graduate, was a nationally recognized sports columnist for The Dallas Morning News. Blackistone now holds the Shirley Povich Chair in Sports Journalism at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism and appears as a commentator on the ESPN show “Around The Horn.” He lives in Silver Spring, Md.; Ann Mcllrath Drake, who received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management in 1984, and is CEO of DSC Logistics, one of the nation’s leading supply chain management companies.; and Northwestern Wildcats former linebacker Patrick Fitzgerald, who received a bachelor’s degree from the School of Education and Social Policy in 1997. For the past six seasons as the head football coach for the Wildcats, Fitzgerald has kept the Northwestern program on the rise, leading his teams to an unprecedented four consecutive bowl appearances. He lives in Northfield, Ill.

Alumni Merit Awards were also presented to jazz saxophonist and educator Bunky Green, professor and director of Jazz Studies at the University of North Florida and former president of the International Association for Jazz Education. Green received a master’s degree from the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music in 1971. He is considered an unsung hero of jazz to many and a devoted mentor to countless others. He lives in Jacksonville, Fla.; April McClain-Delaney, a leading advocate for children’s rights and a healthy media, received a bachelor of arts degree from the School of Communication in 1986. McClain-Delaney is the Washington, D.C. director of Common Sense Media, a leading nonprofit dedicated to helping children and families thrive in today’s media landscape by providing information, education and an independent voice. She also is co-chair for the Northwestern University Leadership Circle’s Washington, D.C. Regional Council and is on the National Advisory Council for the School of Communication. She lives in Potomac, Md.; and Terry A. O’Neill, a social justice activist, who received a bachelor’s degree from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in 1974. O’Neill is president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. Serving as the organization’s principal spokesperson, she advances NOW’s efforts to stop violence against women, promote diversity, ensure economic justice and bring about equality in other important ways. She lives in Bethesda, Md.

Also receiving Alumni Merit Awards were Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, a renowned pediatric endocrinologist, who received a BSM degree from the Feinberg School of Medicine in 1978 and an M.D. from Feinberg in 1979. Since 2009, Pescovitz has served as executive vice president for medical affairs at the University of Michigan and CEO of the University of Michigan Health System; attorney Michael A. Pope, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery L.L.P., where he heads the International Product Liability Practice Group and is one of the country’s top litigators. Pope is a 1969 graduate of the School of Law. To support Northwestern, he established the annual Pope & John Lecture on Professionalism at the Law School. For 19 years, distinguished speakers have explored, through talks on ethics, professional civility, public service and pro bono representation, what it is to serve the law well. He lives in Glencoe, Ill.; Gwynne Shotwell, who received a bachelor’s degree from the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 1986 and a graduate degree from McCormick in 1988, is president of SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corp.), an innovative space transport company that became the first private company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft. Shotwell was invited to speak as part of McCormick Dean Julio Ottino’s Seminar Series in 2010 and delivered the keynote speech to last year’s graduating class. She was also appointed to the McCormick Advisory Council. Shotwell is featured in a cover story in the Spring 2012 issue of Northwestern alumni magazine. She lives in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.

Alumni Merit Awards were also presented to Elizabeth Towne Wilson, a 1984 graduate of the Dental School, who was honored for bringing compassion, community and inclusivity to today’s dental education. Wilson directs the International Student Program (ISP) at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, which offers graduates of foreign dental programs the opportunity to earn a DDS and become eligible to practice in the United States. Her work at the Howard Dental Center in Denver provides oral health care -- often at low or no cost -- to adults and children living with HIV/AIDS. She lives in Centennial, Colo.; and Teresa K. Woodruff, the Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Feinberg School of Medicine, and professor of Molecular Biosciences at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Woodruff received a Ph.D. from Weinberg in 1989. Woodruff has devoted the better part of her research career to female reproductive health and infertility. She also serves as chief of the newly created Division of Fertility Preservation at Feinberg and is the founder and director of the Institute for Women’s Health Research at Northwestern (IWHR). She lives in Chicago.

The Alumni Service to Society Award recognizes the exceptional advancement of causes or ideas that improve society. It was presented to philanthropist Donald S. Wilson, a 1965 Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences graduate who received a master’s degree from the Kellogg School of Management in 1967. Wilson shares his more than 40 years of investment experience with the non-profit world. He serves on the boards or investment committees of numerous organizations, including religious orders, arts groups such as the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Ten Chimneys Foundation, and regional Boy Scouts Council. He also has performed a variety of roles for public charter schools in the Milwaukee area.

Alumni Service Awards are given in recognition of outstanding service to the University. Recipients includedLinda Zwack Munger, a “super volunteer,” founding member of the Women’s Initiative of Northwestern (WIN) Steering Committee and a former co-chair of the Northwestern University Leadership Circle’s New York Regional Council, who received a bachelor’s degree from Medill in 1978. She lives in Greenwich, Conn.; Karla Saxon Stone, nursing and healthcare expert and a 1968 graduate of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences is involved with the Northwestern Alumna Continuing Education Program; C. Gerron Vartan, a Kellogg Alumni Advisory Board member and student mentor,who received a bachelor’s degree in 1966 and an MBA in 1967 from the Kellogg School of Management. In addition to giving generously, Vartan and his wife Judy have opened their home for Northwestern and Kellogg alumni club events, including faculty firesides and the San Francisco Bay Area introduction of Kellogg Dean Sally Blount. He lives in Atherton, Calif.; and Edward Voboril, an adjunct professor at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, who received a bachelor’s degree from McCormick in 1965. Voboril chairs NUvention Medical, recently named one of the top 10 entrepreneurship courses by INC magazine. He lives in Sedona, Ariz., and Chicago.

The 2012 Emerging Leader Award, which recognizes an alumnus or alumna for making a significant impact in his or her profession and/or community by the age of 35, was presented to Alexandra Levit, a 1998 graduate of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. A career-advice expert, bestselling author and former nationally syndicated columnist for “The Wall Street Journal,” Levit produced the acclaimed JobSTART 101, a free online course that prepares college students and graduates for the working world. She recently helped the U.S. Department of Labor develop an employment workshop for military veterans. The frequent national media contributor was named “Money Magazine’s Online Career Expert of the Year and her blog was named one of “Forbes’” best Web sites for women. Levit is one of the NAA’s Council of One Hundred’s youngest members. She lives in Chicago.

The Grant Goodrich Achievement Award recognizes one outstanding individual who, although not a graduate of Northwestern, greatly enhances the University through his or her accomplishments, commitment and service. Award recipient W. James Farrell, a retired businessman and former CEO of Illinois Tool Works in Glenview, Ill., has contributed years of exceptional service to the Kellogg School of Management. A Life Trustee of Northwestern University, he has chaired the Dean’s Advisory Board at Kellogg and currently co-chairs the school’s fundraising campaign. A member of the Northwestern University Leadership Circle -- a University-wide giving society -- Farrell gives generously to not only support Kellogg, but also the Feinberg School of Medicine, the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School and Wildcats athletics. He lives in Lake Forest, Ill.

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