Volume 12, Number 1
As we prepare to welcome another outstanding freshman class, I think back to a moment last spring when I doubted our success. Last winter was long and cold, and April, which should have been spring, set records for cold, gray, wet days. Then, on April 18th when I woke up, looked out my window and saw snow on the ground, my heart sank because it was one of our Wildcat Days, when admitted students visit campus before making their final decisions.
Northwestern University and Weinberg College lost a valued friend and longtime supporter when Morris Kaplan died in June at the age of 98. Kaplan, who graduated from the University in 1935, was former CEO of Sealy Posturepedic Mattress Company and a lifetime member of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees.
Jonathan Widom was born to be a scientist, coming from a family of researchers and academics. A creative thinker with an unusually broad perspective, he was able to bridge the worlds of the physical sciences and the life sciences in order to explore the central questions of biology. His brilliance as a researcher was matched by his generosity as a teacher and mentor. Although his recent death at the age of 55 leaves a greatly saddened Northwestern community, as well as family, friends, and colleagues all over the world, the importance of his findings ensures him a lasting legacy.
In the elegantly-paneled Leopold room in Harris Hall, an expert in European history attends a talk about researching Japanese history through maps. During the presentation, a spark of an idea is ignited: maps might be a fascinating way to explore uncharted territory in her own field. The Center for Historical Studies at Northwestern has been setting off such sparks for five years, prompting exciting conversations across subfields of history and related disciplines.
Even with the celebrity achieved by high-profile speechwriters such as Peggy Noonan and Chris Matthews, some accomplished authors still believe that speechwriters should be heard and not seen. Cody Keenan is one of them.
Thirteen years ago, Judd Weinberg and his family gave a remarkable gift to the College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern. Their generosity was recognized with the naming of the College in their honor. The undergraduate educational experience has been enhanced in so many ways since then: the hiring of stellar faculty across many fields; an invigorated advising system; the growth of the signature undergraduate programs for which the College is known; independent research opportunities; and partnerships with Chicago cultural and scientific institutions.
This fall, when anthropologist Jessica Winegar discusses the Arab Spring with her classes, she will be speaking both as a scholar and as a witness to the dramatic events of the Egyptian Revolution. She was in Egypt for the past year, researching a book on cultural development programs for disadvantaged youths. At a crucial moment, she was in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, shortly before pro-Mubarak forces on camels charged the protestors, swinging their swords.
Saad Eddin Ibrahim, one of Egypt’s leading public intellectuals and human rights advocates, has paid dearly for his attempts at reforming Hosni Mubarak’s autocratic regime. The former professor of political sociology at the American University of Cairo was put on trial three times and convicted twice by an Egyptian state security court. He was sentenced to seven years of hard labor. In 2003, after serving 15 months, he was acquitted of all charges by Egypt’s highest appeals court, but he still walks with a limp from permanent nerve damage suffered in prison.
When U.S. soldiers stationed in Mosul, Iraq, met with fierce resistance in 2003 from the Fedayeen Saddam, Uday Husseinís paramilitary organization and the last Iraqi soldiers to fall, they might have imagined they had stumbled onto a Star Wars movie set circa 1976.
A summary of trends in the Northwestern study abroad program from the years 2000 to 2010.
A collection of photographs from spring 2011.