Michael L. Shakman ’66 and Lester Munson '67 to Receive University Alumni Awards

The University of Chicago Alumni Association and the Alumni Board of Governors announce that leading biochemist Donald Steiner, SM’56, MD’56, will be awarded the Alumni Medal at the 73rd Annual Alumni Awards Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 7 in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.

The Alumni Medal recognizes achievement of an exceptional nature in any field, vocational or voluntary, covering an entire career. In addition to the Alumni Medal, the University will recognize distinguished alumni and faculty members who have made exceptional contributions to the University, to their professions, and to their communities, across five different categories. This year’s 15 alumni award recipients include medical research pioneers in diabetes and women’s heart health, an influential art historian, a U.S. senator, a poignant political commentator, a leading bioethicist and two couples that have positively impacted the academic and experiential learning culture at the University of Chicago.

The awards ceremony, which is free and open to the public, is a highlight of the University of Chicago’s Alumni Weekend. Visit alumniweekend.uchicago.edu for registration and a complete schedule of 2014 Alumni Weekend events...

Michael L. Shakman, AB’62, AM’64, JD’66, Public Service Award

Michael L. Shakman has been a partner at Miller Shakman & Beem LLP since 1972. He is best known for battling political patronage by filing suit against the City of Chicago, other governmental bodies, and political organizations and by obtaining a series of court orders, the “Shakman Decrees,” in federal court, making political hiring and firing illegal. Michael L. Shakman et al v. Democratic Organization of Cook County et al, which is still active 45 years after it was filed, continues to make major changes in public employment and is a model for what may be achieved through public interest litigation. Shakman has written extensively on legal ethics, and, as a former colleague states, he “has become a symbol, an inspiration if you will, to those involved in other battles to eliminate corruption and restore integrity in government.” Shakman is also an active business and commercial litigator and, aside from the law, an avid soaring pilot and soaring competitor...

Judith Munson, AB’63, and Lester Munson, JD’67, Alumni Service Award

Judith and Lester Munson have dedicated a great deal of creativity, resources and time to the University of Chicago and are beloved by students, administrators and staff. They have demonstrated their commitment to student and alumni development by spending countless hours as Taking the Next Step panelists and Metcalf Internship hosts and serving on their reunion committees and the parents committee. More notably, Lester has served as the master of ceremonies for the Athletic Hall of Fame for 11 years, making the experience incredibly meaningful for inductees. In addition, Judith designed and funded unique international internship opportunities for students, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the culture and gain valuable work experience. The Munsons possess an insurmountable zeal for helping others and, in particular, making connections with students and fellow alumni in the Chicago community.