Three distinguished individuals will receive the 2023 Northwestern Alumni Medal — the highest honor given by the Northwestern Alumni Association. The medal recognizes alumni who have made a transformative impact on their fields, performed exemplary volunteer service to society or demonstrated an outstanding record of support for the University.
This year’s recipients are Roberta Buffett Elliott ’54 (’09, ’13, ’17, ’21, ’24, ’26 GP), Chris Galvin ’73, ’77 MBA (’11 P) and Charles S. Modlin Jr. ’83, ’87 MD. They join a select group of more than 100 alumni, including Supreme Court justices and a Nobel laureate, who have been honored since 1932.
Elliott is a visionary philanthropist and dedicated volunteer whose longtime support of international studies at Northwestern is transforming global learning and research at the University. Galvin is a global business and civic leader and longtime Northwestern trustee who has supported innovative business education at Northwestern. Modlin is a leading urologist and kidney transplant surgeon whose efforts have reduced health disparities in men of color.
The medalists hold degrees from Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Kellogg School of Management and Feinberg School of Medicine.
The University will celebrate this year’s Alumni Medal recipients during Northwestern’s Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, Oct. 5-8.
2023 Northwestern Alumni Medal recipients
Roberta “Bertie” Buffett Elliott
Roberta “Bertie” Buffett Elliott is a longtime supporter of international studies at Northwestern.
In 2004, she made a gift for a visiting professor program to bring internationally recognized professors to teach and study at the University in the fields of international and comparative studies. In 2005, that program was expanded into the Roberta Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies to support research, speakers, seminars and travel awards. A decade later, Elliott’s historic $101 million gift endowed the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Affairs.
For more than 60 years, Elliott has been involved as a board member for many community organizations on the Monterey Peninsula in California. She also has supported many other groups dedicated to the arts, education and health.
Chris Galvin is an investor, entrepreneur and Northwestern trustee who has supported business education and the performing arts and provided seed investments to help launch student innovations and ventures.
He is cofounder and chairman of Gore Creek Asset Management LLC, a private Chicago-based wealth management investment firm. Previously, Galvin was cofounder and chairman of Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, a real estate investment management firm. He was chairman and CEO of Motorola Inc., a global technology company, from 1997 to early 2004.
Galvin also is a member of the Kellogg School of Management Global Advisory Board and was a member and co-chair of the steering committee for We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern. He has served as chair and co-chair for his 40th, 45th and 50th reunions.
Charles S. Modlin Jr.
Charles S. Modlin Jr. is a urologist, kidney transplant surgeon and nationally known speaker on reducing health disparities.
He is a physician at MetroHealth, a Cleveland-based health system, where he also serves as the inaugural director of health equity and medical director of the Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity. Previously, Modlin worked at the Cleveland Clinic, where he created an annual event that provided free health screenings, examinations and education to men of color.
Modlin is a class representative for Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He was a member of Feinberg’s alumni board for three terms between 2007 and 2016. Modlin was also instrumental in establishing the Class of 1987 endowed scholarship campaign to provide tuition support to medical students. He has volunteered for several undergraduate reunions, including as chair of his 25th reunion and co-chair of his 35th reunion.