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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 1, 2004

UI College Of Liberal Arts And Sciences Honors Alumni Fellows

Six distinguished former students in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences return to campus next week (Sept. 7-11) as Alumni Fellows, an award the college bestows on its most accomplished graduates. While on campus, two of the fellows will give free public lectures.

Linda Maxson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, initiated the Alumni Fellows program in 1999 with funds from the endowed Dean's Chair in the Liberal Arts and Sciences, which was created through a gift from the UI Alumni Association.

"Using this generous gift from the Alumni Association, we have brought more than two dozen of our most distinguished alumni back to campus in the last six years," Maxson said. "It's a great opportunity for our students to see the kind of success they can achieve, and it's wonderful to be able to recognize our graduates for their personal and professional achievements."

The 2004 Alumni Fellows are: Leola N. Bergmann, master's 1939, English and doctorate 1942, American civilization; Mitchell A. Burgess, bachelor's, 1978 history; Robin L. Green, master's 1977, English; Dorothy K. Ray, bachelor's 1944 and master's 1945, journalism; Jerry M. Sudarsky, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 1936-1939; James L. Watson, bachelor's 1965, Asian Languages and Literature.

At an award ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 9, Maxson will introduce the fellows and present each with a plaque. The following public lectures have been scheduled:

-- Thursday, Sept. 9, 4 p.m.: Jerry M. Sudarsky, "A Career in Science, Industry and Philanthropic Service," Room 323A, Chemistry Building
Sudarsky's talk will provide a retrospective of his education and subsequent scientific and technical career after leaving the University of Iowa.

-- Friday, Sept. 10, 3:30 p.m.: James Watson, "McDonald's in China: The New Cultural Imperialism?" Room 140, Schaeffer Hall

Bergmann, a longtime resident of Iowa City, has spent most of her 92 years engrossed in the arts. She came to the UI for graduate work after attending St. Olaf College in Minnesota where she sang in the famed choir under its founder and director F. Melius Christiansen. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on the history of the St. Olaf choir and then continued her work in history through the 1940s and 1950s. She turned to the visual arts in the 1960s, first studying drawing and then printmaking with UI faculty Mauricio Lasansky, Virginia Myers, and Keith Achepohl. She developed a unique monoprinting process using materials such as velvet-patterned wallpaper, plants, fabrics, or anything that could result in an interesting printed embellishment. Her work was featured in a June 2003 exhibit at the UI Museum of Art, "A Fragile Permanence: Prints and Drawings by Leola Bergmann."

Burgess and Green, a husband-and-wife creative team, have won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series for their work as executive producers of HBO's hit "The Sopranos." Their television career spans 15 years and includes such projects as "Northern Exposure," "A Year in the Life" and the Showtime movie "Critical Choices." Their first work together was on "Northern Exposure," for which they wrote 27 episodes and were producers for five years. They have been honored with Golden Globes, Peabody Awards, Writers Guild of America awards and countless Emmy nominations.

Ray is a local icon in Iowa City, having broadcast a daily interview program on KXIC radio since 1958. Some estimates suggest that she has interviewed more than 20,000 guests in that time. A tireless booster of Iowa City and community organizations, she has received the Russell Slade Award for community service and the Service to the Arts in Our Region Award from the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Friend of Education Award from the Iowa City Education Association. As a student, she headed the first all-female editorial staff of The Daily Iowan. She has also taught journalism at the UI and served on the School of Journalism & Mass Communication's Professional Advisory Board until 1999.

Sudarsky, of Los Angeles, is founder and chairman of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and develops research facilities for the pharmaceutics and biotechnology industries. Financial analysts consider it to be one of the most successful REITs in the country. Though his career has taken him to the pinnacle of the chemistry profession, it arose from humble beginnings. He came to the UI in 1936 to study chemistry and play baseball, but after three years was forced to abandon his studies because of financial hardship. He later finished his degree at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and then served in the Navy. In 1946 he founded the Bioferm Corporation, one of the world's first biotechnology companies, which used fermentation processes to produce vitamins. He sold the company in 1960 and went on to work in policy development for the United Nations and for Israel, where he focused on infrastructure for science and business.

Watson, who grew up and graduated from high school in New Market in southwestern Iowa, was one of the UI's first students of Chinese language. He went on to graduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley and became one of the most distinguished anthropologists in the field of contemporary China. After holding faculty positions at the University of Hawaii, University of London and University of Pittsburgh, he was named the John King and Wilma Cannon Fairbank Professor of Chinese Society at Harvard University in 1989. He has conducted pioneering studies of village life, family and kinship, popular religion and ritual, migration and globalization. He is past president of the Association for Asian Studies and a member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations. Among his many honors, he has been named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Anthropological Association, the Royal Anthropological Institute, and the American Ethnological Society.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,