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University of Iowa News Release

June 2, 2002

UI Alumni To Be Honored For Accomplishments June 7

Some of the University of Iowa's most acclaimed alumni will make their way back to campus June 7 to be recognized by the University of Iowa for their accomplishments.

Thirteen alumni from diverse professions will receive the UIAA's highest honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award, at a celebratory lunch noon Saturday, June 7, in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union.

The public is invited to the luncheon and awards presentation, which is part of the Alumni Reunion Weekend June 5-8. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased by calling the UI Alumni Association at 319-335-3294 or 800-469-2586.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards are the highest honor presented by the UI Alumni Association, given annually since 1963 to recognize the achievements and service of UI alumni and friends. This year's awards are given in four categories: Achievement, Service, Faculty and Young Alumni.

The Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement is given for significant accomplishments in business or professional life or for distinguished human service. The recipients are:

Patrick Baird, 1976 B.B.A., is president and chief executive officer of AEGON USA, Inc., the fifth largest insurance company in the U.S. A former member of the UI's golf team, he was the driving force behind the AEGON Advantage Golf Tournament, which has raised more than $400,000 for the Athletics Hall of Fame and the renovation of the Finkbine Golf Course.

Doris J. Biester, 1963 B.S.N, is president and chief executive officer of the Children's Hospital of Denver and chairman of the board of trustees of the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions. A national leader, Biester has inspired others to advocate on behalf of children's and family health and urged legislators to address the health care needs of children everywhere.

James Bramson, 1976 B.S., 1979 D.D.S, uses his role as executive director of the American Dental Association to positively impact the quality of dental care and education in the United States. From his start in private practice in a small Iowa town, Bramson has distinguished himself as a key leader with unparalleled national influence in his field.

Alan P. Larson, 1971 B.A., 1978 M.A., 1982 Ph.D. Larson is Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs, the only person to be appointed to the position by both Democratic and Republican administrations and the first Foreign Service Officer to serve in this position. In 2003, he will mark 30 years of service to the United States, consistently advocating for sound international economic policy.

Martin J. Sepulveda, 1985, Fellow, Internal Medicine, is the vice president of global occupational health services and health benefits for IBM. Under his leadership, IBM has become the only corporation to twice receive a national award given to the company with the most outstanding occupational health and safety program.

Jane G. Smiley, 1975 M.A., 1976 M.F.A., 1978 Ph.D., is one of the country's most respected writers. She has explored a variety of genres-from the Shakespearean drama of "A Thousand Acres," for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1991; to "Moo," an academic farce; to "The Greenlanders," her novel chronicling the Nordic sagas.

Gene Wilder, 1955 B.A., has distinguished himself as an actor, scriptwriter, director and producer, building as multidimensional a career as anyone in show business. Twice nominated for an Academy Award (for "The Producers" in 1967 and "Young Frankenstein" in 1974), Wilder is also known for Gilda's Club, a nationwide network of psychological and social support facilities for cancer patients and their families.

The Distinguished Alumni Award for Service is given for meritorious service in community affairs or to the UI. The recipients are:

John Bouma, 1958 B.A., 1960 J.D., heads one of the nation's premier law firms and is recognized as one of America's best lawyers. He is chairman of Snell & Wilmer of Phoenix, Ariz., is a longtime member of the Iowa Law School Foundation Board of Directors. A native of Pocahontas, Iowa, Bouma was recently appointed chairman of the nation's largest provider of professional liability insurance for lawyers. Bouma, with his brother, donated $250,000 to the UI's College of Law, creating the college's first endowed faculty fellowship.

Jim Hanson, 1958 B.S.C., and Joann Slager Hanson, 1956 B.A., have made a consistent habit of giving back to the university where they met. The Hansons have supported a wide range of volunteer projects, UI programs, and boards and campaigns, and they established a scholarship that helps students who demonstrate leadership skills or possess volunteer experience.

Jack Hartley, 1950 M.A., has employed an innovative, imaginative teaching style to reach two generations of high school and community college students in Iowa and Arizona, challenging them to excel beyond their perceived limits and to think in terms of justice and injustice. One of the first teachers in Iowa to include black history in a high school curriculum, Hartley is a civil rights champion and his students say he truly touched their lives.

The Distinguished Alumni Award for Faculty is given in recognition of significant achievement or specific meritorious service on behalf of the quality and advancement of the university. The award will be given to Robert V. Hogg, 1948 M.S., 1950 Ph.D. For more than half a century, he was a highly visible faculty member and administrator at the University of Iowa, where he helped found the Department of Statistics in 1965. His numerous books have provided the foundation for generations of statisticians, while his service to the American Statistical Association has helped shape the profession.

The Distinguished Alumni Award/Young Alumni awards are given for significant accomplishments in business or professional life or for distinguished human service. The Young Alumni recipients are:

Michele M. Crider studied at the UI School of Music, where she impressed the faculty with a talent that promised greatness. Recommended by Simon Estes to join the Zurich Opera Studio, Crider made the difficult decision to interrupt her degree studies. Today, she has sung in all of Europe's major opera houses and is recognized worldwide as a leading soprano.

Susan C. Winckler, 1992 B.S., Pharmacy, has risen quickly to a national leadership role in the area of pharmaceutical and health policy development. As Vice President for Policy and Communications and Staff Counsel for the American Pharmacists Association (AphA), the national professional society of pharmacists, Winckler is the primary spokesperson for the association and its senior lobbyist on Capitol Hill.

To find out more about the Distinguished Alumni Awards and the people who have received them since the awards' inception in 1963, visit

STORY SOURCE: University News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,
Writers: Tina Owen, George McCrory.