NEWS

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September 30, 2006

A week of Chicago events

This week I fully satisfied my University of Chicago withdrawal symptoms with two fantastic events. On Thursday night, I attended a dinner for Chicago Society donors at which I awesomely and unexpectedly ran into co-blogger Andrew Hammond who was flown in as the resident student genius. (I was there because they needed an extra volunteer to work the door for an hour.) Andrew gave a great brief speech about his experience at Chicago and then introduced Professor David Archer, who gave an interesting talk about global warming. As my mother pointed out, it is rare that donor dinners have academic speakers, rarer that they include PowerPoint presentations with graphs, and rarer still that there is a question-and-answer session afterwards which has to be cut off by the moderator.Also a surprise for me was a talk by President Robert Zimmer. His comments were right on, in my opinion, and I am sure everyone appreciated his visit despite asking fewer questions of him than of the global warming guy. I introduced myself to Zimmer (we met once before when he met 1000 other students on campus last spring, so I don't blame him for not remembering me) and told him I was happy with the announcement that Tommy Rosenbaum, formerly Vice President for Research and Argonne National Laboratory, was appointed provost succeeding Richard Sallar. Rosenbaum was instrumental in Chicago winning its bid to retain operational control of Argonne, and the University is stronger for it. Zimmer commented that I was the first person he had ever heard who called Rosenbaum "Tommy." Slightly embarrissing, I suppose, but that is what my grandmother has called him ever since he grew up in my mother's neighborhood in Queens.On Friday night, I attended the New York Phoenixfest and got to see plenty of old Chicago friends. A highlight of the evening was running into former Maroon head copy editor Ilana Emmett who is working on the set of an Internet sitcom which can be watched here. As for the rest of the evening, I will note only that the large TV screens in the club were tuned to the History Channel for most of the evening. Hot damn!