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Distinguished Service Medallion 1997


Archbishop of Chicago, renowned advocate for change in the church to respond to the needs of many constituencies, spokesperson for those with a concern for ethics in health care, and one who took an interest in the role of the Chicago campus. The Medallion was accepted by his colleague and aide, Monsignor Kenneth Velo.


As a State Senator from Illinois 52nd District, Senator Weaver has assisted the University of Illinois in many ways for 28 years in the Illinois General Assembly. He was Senate Majority leader and a very effective leader in his party. He assisted the University in every major accomplishment through the tenures of four presidents. Senator Weaver was awarded the Medallion at the October 9, 1997, meeting of the Board of Trustees.


Board of Trustees Minutes
April 10, 1997


The Trustees’ Distinguished Service Medallion Committee recommends Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, late archbishop of Chicago for the Trustees Distinguished Service Medallion for 1997.

Cardinal Bernardin was most interested in a partnership between the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago. This relationship began in February 1992 with a meeting between the cardinal and James J. Stukel, then chancellor of the Chicago campus. They met on a regular basis after that. The number of initiatives that have been a result of this partnership is impressive. The Great Cities Program, in its early states, was linked to the Catholic Charities organization to benefit residents in both Pilsen and on the near west side. Catholic churches were used as sites for convening parties who were interested in the Great Cities Program. Catholic parishes have been of great assistance to the program since its earliest stages. Consequently, a number of important projects have developed for the University and the archdiocese as well as the city of Chicago.

Out of this relations, some other linkages also developed between the Chicago campus and the Catholic schools. One pilot project carried out in some schools was the UIC fingerprinting initiative. Through this project fingerprints of incoming kindergartners are taken and maintained until the children reach age 18. The faculty of the Chicago campus and the Chicago Catholic Schools have worked together in teacher training programs. As a result, more student teachers at UIC have found training opportunities in the Catholic schools of Chicago. Also, UIC faculty have offered consultative services to the Catholic schools.

Health care was another are Cardinal Bernardin focused on in his meetings with Dr. Stukel. The cardinal and Dr. Stukel both agreed on the importance of health care reform and the need to keep in perspective the ethical issues that accompany it. The cardinal gave an address at UIC in February 1993 entitled The Consistent Ethic of Life that expressed his view on health care issues and related subjects.

Cardinal Bernanrdin and Chancellor Stukel often spoke of the recruitment of students from the Catholic schools to UIC. As a result of these talks, an annual reception for Catholic school principals and counselors was initiated in September 1993. This event continues. Today, 50 percent of the approximately 25,000 students at UIC are Roman Catholics.

David C. Broski, chancellor at the Chicago campus, has said that he views the partnership between UIC and the Chicago Archdiocese as invaluable. He said that he intends to continue the partnership of these “two great institutions serving the same population.”

On motion of Mrs. Gravenhorst, this recommendation was approved by the following vote:  Aye, Mrs. Calder, Mr. Engelbrecht, Dr. Gindorf, Mrs. Gravenhorst, Ms. Lopez, Mrs. O’Malley, Mr. Plummer;  no, none; absent, Governor Edgar, Mr. Lamont. (Ms. Reese asked to be recorded as not voting on this item.)

(The student advisory vote was:  Aye, Ms. Vais, Mr. Wallace;  absent, Mr. Malone.)