Lori Lightfoot

Lori Lightfoot, JD’89, won the April 2 Chicago mayoral runoff election and will take office on May 20. (Photo courtesy Prachatai [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0])


A selection of UChicago alumni whose names are in the news.

Special election

In an April 2 runoff election, Toni Preckwinkle, AB’69, MAT’77, and Lori Lightfoot, JD’89, competed for the office of mayor of Chicago. Lightfoot, who won the election after serving as president of the Chicago Police Board, will be the city’s first openly gay mayor and the first African American woman to hold the office. An advocate for city government reform, Lightfoot said after the election, “Other than crime, there’s no bigger issue that we face than securing the financial future of our city.” Preckwinkle, who will continue her third term as president of the Cook County Board, underscored the historic nature of the election when the votes were tallied. “Not long ago, two African-American women vying for this position would have been unthinkable.” Lightfoot takes office on May 20.

Lifelong service

Duane F. Hyde, MD’51, has been awarded the rank of chevalier in France’s Legion of Honour for his service as a US Army staff sergeant during World War II. Hyde received the decoration at a February ceremony at the French consulate in San Francisco. Recognized for his combat duty in Germany’s Harz Mountains, for which he received the Purple Heart, and in Alsace, France, Hyde said of the award, “I don’t feel like it’s for me as much as I am a representative of many, many soldiers that are still in France and the rest of us that fought with them.” A retired physician, Hyde served for more than four decades as a family doctor in King City, California, where he also helped found a general hospital.

Trailblazing geographer

In November Susanna B. Hecht, LAB’68, AB’72, received the American Geographical Society’s David Livingstone Centenary Medal. Named for the Scottish explorer, the Livingstone Medal is awarded “for scientific achievement in the field of geography of the southern hemisphere.” Hecht, who is professor of urban planning at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs and an authority on land use and development in the Amazon rainforest, helped establish the field of political ecology with her studies of human-environment interaction in Latin America. American Geographical Society vice president Deborah Popper commended Hecht for her insights into “how economics, culture, and land use operate in a society to reflect and change the environment.”

Harris to lead Grinnell faculty

Anne F. Harris, AM’92, PhD’99, will become Grinnell College’s new dean and vice president for academic affairs in July. Harris moves to the Iowa school from DePauw University, where she has served as vice president for academic affairs since 2015 and has taught art history for more than 20 years. An expert in medieval art, she is coauthor of a textbook on the subject forthcoming this year. In her administrative role at DePauw, she has led efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, expand academic programs, and strengthen community engagement. At Grinnell she will be the liberal arts college’s chief academic officer.

Holocaust scholar honored

Jud Newborn, AM’77, PhD’94, received the 2018 Spirit of Anne Frank “Human Writes” Award from New York City’s Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. Newborn was cited for his role as cocreator and the founding historian of New York City’s Museum of Jewish Heritage and for his coauthored 1986 Holocaust narrative Shattering the German Night: The Story of the White Rose. Later reprinted as Sophie Scholl and the White Rose (Oneworld, 2006), the book chronicles the German anti-Nazi resistance group and the life of one of its student leaders. The award also recognized Newborn’s human rights activism and his work in preserving one of the country’s largest collections of anti-Semitic artifacts at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Newborn is currently the special programs curator at Long Island’s Cinema Arts Centre.

Doctor’s prescription for change

William A. McDade, PhD’88, MD’90, has become the Chicago-based Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer. At the nation’s primary accreditor of post-MD training programs, McDade will lead initiatives aimed at underrepresented groups. “In order to train the next generation of physicians to be prepared to care for the American public, we must ensure that opportunities to train in all areas of medicine are open to diverse populations,” he said in a statement. Most recently the executive vice president and chief academic officer at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans, McDade previously served as professor of anesthesia and critical care and deputy provost for research and minority issues at UChicago, where he was also the Pritzker School of Medicine’s associate dean for multicultural affairs. 

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