Lewis and Walsh To Be Lauded at Annual Stritch Award Dinner
MAYWOOD, Ill. — To recognize their leadership and dedication to changing lives for the better, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine will honor outstanding individuals at its 62nd Annual Award Dinner on Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Field Museum.
Jazz great Ramsey Lewis will receive the Sword of Loyola for his dedication to cultivating upcoming artists. Dr. Katherine Walsh will receive the Stritch School of Medicine’s highest honor, the Stritch Medal, for inspiring leadership, contributions to medical education and commitment to patient-centered care. Teresa J. Wronski, associate dean of student affairs at the Stritch School of Medicine, will receive the Dux Mirabilis Award in gratitude for nearly 50 years of service. This award is given to a member of faculty or staff for extraordinary contributions to the University and its mission.
“Stritch School of Medicine is committed to training future physicians who not only excel in the field of medicine but also have a heart to impact the world. Those we honor embody these types of attributes such as excellence, commitment, determination and compassion that we hope all our students will strive to attain,” said Richard L. Gamelli, MD, FACS, senior vice president and provost of the Health Sciences Division, Loyola University Chicago.
Also, nearly 40 young adults from the Chicago area will be 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.
Sword of Loyola Recipient Ramsey Lewis
The Sword of Loyola recognizes notable achievements of outstanding leaders for contributions in a field other than medicine. This year’s recipient is jazz pianist and composer Ramsey Lewis.
“Since 1964, the Sword of Loyola has recognized excellence in leadership and service. 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,” said Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., president and CEO of Loyola University Chicago. “We are delighted to recognize Ramsey’s unwavering commitment to the next generation by awarding him the Sword of Loyola."
Lewis has been a leader in contemporary jazz for more than 50 years. His mastery of the piano and his warm personality attract fans from a variety of music genres. From die-hard jazz lovers to pop R&B devotees to classical music enthusiasts, Lewis has struck a heartfelt chord with them all.
A native Chicagoan, the three-time Grammy winner and recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award represents the diversity of music for which Chicago is noted. He has received five honorary doctorate degrees, including one from Loyola University Chicago, and numerous other accolades. Lewis also is a member of Loyola University Chicago’s Council of Regents.
“I have always lived my life as a man and a musician in appreciation of the accomplishments and support of my many mentors and colleagues. Some of them are not even aware of their impact on me, but I have been keenly aware of the people who move into and out of my life,” Lewis said. “I think the importance of this award is a wonderful testament to all of the people who have influenced me, and my gratitude to them is enormous. I am so grateful for this honor."
Lewis supports programs such as the ChiArts High School, the city’s first public arts high school. The school offers intensive pre-professional training in the arts, combined with a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum.
Lewis first captivated fans with his debut album, “Ramsey Lewis and the Gentlemen of Swing” in 1956. A decade later, he was one of the nation’s most successful jazz pianists. He has joined forces with countless other musicians to create innovative music. He also hosted a popular morning “smooth jazz” radio show in Chicago and the PBS television series “Legends of Jazz."
Stritch Medal Recipient Katherine Walsh, MD
Stritch Medal recipient Katherine Walsh, MD, entered the Stritch School of Medicine at the age of 33 with four kids between the ages of 2 and 7.
She earned her medical degree in 1980 and finished her residency in family medicine in 1983. While busy with her family and her own practice, she was program director for the West Suburban Hospital Family Practice residency program and associate professor at the Stritch School of Medicine. She created the school’s physician mentor program and helped develop its patient-centered medicine course.
As a primary care physician and associate professor of family medicine, her specific interests include women’s health and reaching the underserved.
“The foundation of our students’ education has been enriched by the compassionate and innovative teaching of Kathie Walsh,” said Linda Brubaker, MD, MS, dean of Stritch School of Medicine. “Generations of patients to come will benefit from her determination to ensure everyone receives exceptional care. She challenges all of us to find new ways to reach out to patients and the community; to become better physicians by becoming better people."
Walsh, a longtime resident of west suburban Oak Park and River Forest, is engaged in community-betterment activities, including developing a medical clinic at Deborah’s Place, a comprehensive facility that cares for homeless women in Chicago. In addition, she chairs a program at her parish that provides religious education to special needs children. She coordinates the parish’s PADS overnight shelter and helps lead a monthly communion service at Oak Park Arms Retirement Center.
Katherine and Joseph Walsh have been married for 46 years. In addition to four children, they have nine grandchildren.
Millions of Dollars for Medical Education
As Chicago’s longest-running black-tie gala, the Stritch School of Medicine Annual Award Dinner has raised millions of dollars for medical education since 1950. Individual tickets are $600; tables of 10 can be sponsored for $6,000 or $12,000. Tickets are a tax-deductible charitable donation to the extent allowed by law.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call (312) 915-7662.
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