MAYWOOD, Ill. – Approximately 900 people gathered Nov. 17 at the Field Museum for Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine’s Annual Award Dinner. As Chicago’s longest-running black-tie gala, the event has raised millions of dollars for medical education scholarships since 1950.
Guests mingled and dined among museum displays in the shadow of Sue, one of the world’s most famous dinosaurs. The evening also included an award ceremony for three individuals who were honored for their leadership and service.
Jazz legend Ramsey Lewis received the Sword of Loyola, which recognizes achievements of outstanding leaders for contributions in a field other than medicine.
“This award is very humbling to me. It reflects the values and integrity of the respected individuals in whose footprints I am filling,” said Lewis. A leader in contemporary jazz for more than 50 years, Lewis’ dedication to music also is demonstrated by his continuing efforts toward helping young Chicago musicians succeed.
“Since 1964, the Sword of Loyola has recognized excellence in leadership and service,” said Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., president and CEO of Loyola University Chicago. “Ramsey is an extraordinary musician who is deeply committed to the arts and to cultivating young musicians. He is well-known both on stage and off as a champion of struggling artists, giving them support and guidance to help them reach their potential. We are delighted to recognize Ramsey’s unwavering commitment to the next generation by awarding him the Sword of Loyola."
Katherine Walsh, MD, received the Stritch School of Medicine’s highest honor, the Stritch Medal, for inspiring leadership, contributions to medical education and commitment to patient-centered care.
“I am particularly humbled by the privilege of being a physician,” said Dr. Walsh, who worked her way through medical school while raising four children before going on to become an accomplished family physician and public servant.
“When I consider the faith and trust my patients have placed in me over the years, I can’t imagine a more meaningful and honorable profession,” she said. “I look upon this award as a celebration of Family Medicine and all of primary care at Stritch."
Teresa J. Wronski, associate dean of student affairs at Stritch School of Medicine, received the Dux Mirabilis (“extraordinary leader,” in Latin) Award in gratitude for nearly 50 years of service to Loyola University Chicago. This award is given to a member of faculty or staff for extraordinary contributions to the university and its mission.
“In nearly 50 years at Stritch, she has touched many, many lives, and enriched mine in my leadership role,” said Linda Brubaker, MD, MS, dean, Stritch School of Medicine. “With the scholarship established in her name by past students, for future students, the impact of her dedication to education will continue long after her retirement on Feb. 1, 2013."
In addition to the awards, 37 young adults from the Chicago area were recognized for their participation in the Stritch Junior Service League, a long-standing volunteer organization that continues Loyola’s tradition of commitment to the community.