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Northwestern News 2012: Year in Review

A look back at the newsmakers of the past year


EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University witnessed history, drama, triumph and breakthrough in 2012. Take a look back at the people, programs and events that made news and delivered great memories this year.



Amid tears, cheers and standing ovations, 36 undergraduates made history as the first students at Northwestern University in Qatar to earn Bachelor of Science degrees in journalism and communication. The 154th annual commencement ceremony on the Evanston campus also featured a keynote address by Paul Farmer -- the physician known worldwide for his pioneering work in global health. Read these stories and other 2012 University highlights below.

Celebrating the Inaugural Graduating Class from Northwestern University in Qatar

Humanitarian, First NU-Q Class Add to Northwestern’s 154 th Commencement

Here’s to the Class of 2016: Most Academically Gifted and Diverse Class Begins

Leading Universities Team Up to Transform Online Education

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Will Become an Official Northwestern Holiday



Northwestern scientists pursued new knowledge across disciplines through more than 100 school- or University-based centers. And, for the third year in a row, research grant funding awarded to Northwestern totaled more than a half billion dollars. Researchers shed light on everything from early cancer detection and a wonder drug that could treat Alzheimer’s to romantic attraction and the dangers of sitting too much.

You Say You Don’t Care About Looks, But What You Really Want in a Mate

Early Detection Is the Best Bet in Winning the War on Cancer

Wonder Drug Could Treat Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis and Brain Injury

Evaluating a Better HIV Test That Delivers Diagnosis in Minutes

Get Out of Your Chair: Study Finds Even Active Women Sit Too Much



It was an extraordinary year for private donations to Northwestern, further positioning the University as one of the world’s great private research universities. The tremendous generosity of our supporters — alumni, corporate partners, foundations, parents, students and friends — resulted in the second highest giving total in Northwestern’s history. Highlights include one of the largest gifts ever to the Law School, the establishment of new academic programs, the building of world-class facilities and the University’s first event honoring scholarship donors.

Gifts Supporting Athletics Surpass $55 Million

Law School Receives $5 Million Gift from Kirkland & Ellis

Willens Engineering Life Sciences Wing Unveiled

Crown Gift Expands Israel Studies

Rajawali Foundation Gift Creates Equality Development and Globalization Studies Program

$10 Million Gift from Querrey Simpson Foundation for Medical Application of Nanotechnology

University Breaks Ground on New Music and Communication Building

Scholarship Donors Honored



The calendar featured major events and a year of firsts. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a key policy message at the Law School, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel addressed an Evanston crowd as part of the One Book One Northwestern program. Dance Marathon generated a record-setting total of more than $1.1 million in cash and donations. Northwestern hosted a groundbreaking conference of African-American studies scholars as well as the inaugural Contemporary Thought Lecture. And we all took time out to watch the transit of Venus across the sun.

Renowned Harvard Psychologist Delivers First Contemporary Thought Lecture

Dance Marathon Takes In Record $1.1 Million

Attorney General Eric Holder Defines Obama Administration National Security Policy

Historic Event Celebrates Black Studies, Gathers Leading Scholars on Critical Race Issues

One Book One Northwestern Author Alex Kotlowitz Extols the Power of Stories

Chicago Mayor Links Chicago’s Strengths to Education, Highlights Power of Universities



Northwestern students, faculty and alumni were recognized for outstanding achievement and scholarship in 2012. The University celebrated a Churchill Scholar, a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” award, Fulbright fellowships and a Marshall Scholarship.

Senior Kyle Kremer, Double Major in Music and Science, Receives Churchill Scholarship

Medill Lecturer John Sullivan Helps Lead Team to Pulitzer Prize for Public Service

Historian Dylan Penningroth Named MacArthur Fellow, Specializes in African-American Life

Northwestern a Leader in Producing Fulbright Recipients With 22 Scholars

Triple Science Major Jennifer Mills Named Marshall Scholar



Wildcats, former and current, did us proud in 2012 by winning the “Northwestern Way” as President Morton Schapiro put it during a Chicago Public Radio interview. He referred to Northwestern student-athletes excelling on the field and in the classroom. Lacrosse won a seventh championship in eight years, two athletes competed at the Summer Olympics in London, men’s soccer made a deep run in the NCAA playoffs and football enjoyed a 9-win season on the way to the upcoming Gator Bowl Jan. 1, 2013.

President Schapiro on Winning the ‘Northwestern Way:’ Athletics Highlights Entire University

Late Rally Lifts Northwestern to Seventh National Title in Eight Years

Former Wildcats Compete in London Olympics, Swimmer Grevers Wins Three Medals

Northwestern Student-Athletes Prove Their Mettle in the Classroom

Football Rings Up 9-3 Mark on the Way to Third New Year’s Day Bowl in Four Years



A new building boom promises big changes on the Evanston campus. Work is underway on the new Music and Communication Building, the soon-to-be world-class home for the arts on the shore of Lake Michigan. The University announced plans for a major complex for athletics and recreation. And on a smaller scale, Northwestern threw open the doors to Deering Library in time for Homecoming, restoring the classic entrance that had been closed for 42 years.

New Visitor Center Planned as Part of Southeast Campus Development Plan

Central Campus Green Will Provide Broad Lawn Area, Walkways in Place of Parking

Breaking Ground on a World-Class Music and Communication Building

Plans Announced for Athletics/Recreation Complex on North Campus

Seeking Inspired Design: Architects Invited to Create Plans for Building on Former Prentice Site

After 42 Years, Library Doors Reopen With Access from Deering Meadow

'Stuff' Students Say

Violinist a YouTube Smash

Dance Marathon Breaks Record

First Grads Make History in Qatar

Dr. Paul Farmer Highlights Commencement

Faces of Cancer, Stories of Hope

New Students 'March' On In

Deering Library Doors Reopen After 42 Years

Go U Fans: Fight Song Centennial Contest a Hitmaker

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