1940s Featured Legacies Legacies

Marilynn Bruder Alsdorf (BS46)

Marilynn Bruder Alsdorf, a lifelong Chicagoan and philanthropist known as the “queen of Chicago’s arts community,” died Aug 1, 2019. She was 94.  Alsdorf and her late husband were passionate art collectors and devoted patrons of the arts, and their contributions of art collections and funding enriched some of Chicago’s most valued art institutions.

In 2006, her contributions to the Art Institute of Chicago endowed a museum curatorial position and art history professorship and made possible a renovation of the galleries for Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art, which opened in 2009.

Hundreds of pieces from the Alsdorf Collection are on display in the galleries, which are designed by Renzo Piano.

Art Institute President James Rondeau told the Chicago Tribune: “Marilynn was a true connoisseur. With true and wide ranging curiosity and knowledge, an exquisite eye, and commitment to bringing the best to Chicago, she elevated the collections of institutions around the city.”

Alsdorf also gave generously to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art, according to Ed Horner Jr., a former executive vice president of the Art Institute who spoke with the Tribune

Alsdorf was born and raised on the Far North Side of Chicago. She graduated from Medill in 1946, and married Joseph Alsdorf not long after. Before the couple began collecting art, she worked briefly as a model for commercial and fashion photographers.

The Alsdorfs bought their first painting (by Amedeo Modigliani) at a Chicago auction, and began a collection known among collectors for its diversity and quality.

“She and her husband traveled the world back in the 1950s and 1960s when others were not going to Southeast Asia and places like that,” Suzanne McCullagh, former chairman of the Art Institute’s Department of Prints and Drawings, told the Tribune.

The Alsdorfs amassed an “extraordinary” and “encyclopedic” collection of Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian art, according to Horner. He added that although Alsdorf’s collections were diverse and eclectic, she could curate the objects so they would speak to each other.

Alsdorf also had a “great eye and great knowledge” when collecting contemporary and modern art, McCullagh told the Tribune.

Alsdorf and her husband were always eager to learn about art and artists from across the globe. After Mr. Alsdorf’s death in 1990, she remained an active collector, adding works by Mark Rothko, René Magritte, Wassily Kandinsky, Frida Kahlo and Fernand Léger, among others.

“Her vision and philanthropy can be experienced every day in the Art Institute’s Alsdorf Galleries,” Rondeau told the Tribune.

She is survived by her son Jeffrey, her daughter Lynne, and six grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.

1950s Featured Legacies Legacies

Yet Lock (BSJ58)

Yet Lock, the former president of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce in downtown Los Angeles and possibly the longest-serving news executive in Southern California, according to the Los Angeles Times, died Sept. 7, 2019. He was 83.

Lock, who was executive vice president of City News Service for 40 years,  graduated from Medill in 1958 and taught as a public schoolteacher before joining the Los Angeles mayor’s office. After working as a top aide to former Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty, Lock began working with City News Service in 1972.

Lock, a driving force in the Asian American Journalists Association, had been honored by the AAJA for “paving the way for Asian Americans.” The Los Angeles City Council honored Lock at the time of his retirement. City Councilman Paul Koretz introduced a resolution marking July 27, 2012, as “Yet Lock Day.” Koretz called Lock a “crucial figure” in the history of Los Angeles journalism who helped build CNS into “an amazingly vital and vibrant news agency.”

Lock lived with his wife, June Kim, in Florida after Lock retired in 2012.

1990s Featured Legacies Legacies

Mary Suzanne Costello Vandergrift (BSJ99)

Mary Suzanne Costello Vandergrift, a television news reporter and journalist, died July 26, 2019. She was 42. One of seven children, she was born in Wisconsin Jan. 27, 1977 to Patrick and Susan Costello.

A stellar student, Vandergrift graduated high school in 1995. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Medill in 1999. Peers remembered her as a natural storyteller and as an apt television reporter.  She was an on-air reporter for local news stations in several states including Indiana, West Virginia, Ohio, and Minneapolis. She was most proud of her field reporting during severe weather and her investigative work.

She met her husband, Nate Vandergrift, on the job in Dayton, Ohio in 2006, where he worked as a producer. They married on Dec. 31, 2008, and in 2011, they welcomed one daughter, Olivia Lorraine.

Friends and family remember her humor and her willingness to reach out to others in the face of adversity.

She is survived by her husband, Nathan Vandergrift, and his family; her daughter, Olivia; her mother, Susan; her siblings: William, Joseph, Stephanie, Elizabeth, Isaac, and Scott; her eight nieces and nephews, as well as aunts, an uncle, and cousins.

1940s Featured Legacies Legacies

Edith Van Tuyle Phelan (BSJ46)

Edith Van Tuyle Phelan, a great-great-grandmother and lifelong volunteer, died June 19, 2019, at the age of 94. She was born in rural lllinois, but graduated from high school in Winchester in 1942.

She was active in the women’s athletic association, a sports reporter for the student newspaper and a member of the Chi Omega sorority.

Phelan was a member of Northwestern women’s rifle team, which was nicknamed the “Pistol Packin’ Mamas.” Before graduating, Phelan married Dick Phelan, a graduate of Northwestern’s engineering program, in 1945, and had four children.

As president of the Northwestern Alumnae Association she was honored with an award for her service in 1981, and in 1996 she served as co-chairman of her class’s 50th reunion celebration.

She volunteered for the Children’s Home and Aid Society of Illinois, and was recognized by the Chicago State Street Council for her efforts. She served as a librarian for the First Presbyterian Church of Evanston and for fifty-four years as a judge for Cook County elections.

She was a member of the Chicago North Shore Chi Omega Alumnae group, the Evanston Woman’s Athletic Club, the North Shore Senior Center and the Winnetka Genealogy Writers Group.

She is survived by her husband of 74 years, Richard A. Phelan; two daughters, Carolyn Arra and Peggy; two sons, Robert and James; one granddaughter, seven grandsons, one great-granddaughter, three great-grandsons and one great-great-grandson.

1960s Featured Legacies Legacies

Thomas “Tom” Duncan (BSJ62, MSJ63)

Thomas “Tom” Duncan, a pioneering marketing researcher and lifelong educator, died May 12, 2019. He was 79.

Duncan, a 2005 Medill Hall of Achievement inductee, wrote extensively on Integrated Marketing Communication in academic and professional publications, including texts such as “Principles of Advertising and IMC and Marketing,” and a respected professional book, “Driving Brand Value.”

Duncan was born and raised in Martinsville, Ind. and graduated high school there. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Medill, majoring in journalism and advertising. He returned to Martinsville High School and taught journalism there until leaving to earn his Ph.D. in journalism from Iowa University.

He worked first in research at the Leo Burnett advertising agency in Chicago, and then managed and directed marketing operations in Indiana and Minnesota.

With his extensive advertising and marketing experience, Duncan began a new career as a professor—first at Ball State University in Indiana, and then at the University of Colorado School of Journalism. At Ball State he twice taught a course abroad in London over international marketing, advertising, and mass communication.

At Colorado University, he developed an internationally recognized master’s program in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) along with his wife, Sandra Moriarty. This led to consulting with agencies and clients in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, particularly with Japanese superagency, Dentsu, in Tokyo. He and Moriarty also conducted seminars and gave lectures worldwide on IMC.

After retiring from CU, he created a unique IMC program embedded in an MBA program at the University of Denver. He finished his academic career as visiting professor for one term at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

He and his wife retired to Bonita Springs in 2013, where he served on the Bonita Bay Strategic Planning committee, volunteered with a cancer treatment center and a thrift store, and played pickleball and bocce.

He is survived by his wife, Sandra Moriarty; his two children, Elizabeth and Andrew; his sister, Melinda; his niece and nephew; and 5 grandchildren.


1950s Featured Legacies Legacies

Dr. Robert “Bob” Boyle (BSJ53, MSJ54)

Dr. Robert “Bob” Boyle shared his passion for English and journalism with students at New Trier High School for 34 years, and later mentored future teachers at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. He died May 12, 2019 at 86.

Boyle was born on May 16, 1932 in Iowa, and attended high school in Saginaw, Michigan. He received a full scholarship to Northwestern, where he studied education and journalism at Medill, and then earned his master’s in journalism a year later. He was placed as a student teacher at New Trier High School, and was promptly hired for a permanent position. As an English teacher, he taught drama, journalism and literature. He also sponsored the student paper, the New Trier News. The Chicago Tribune reported that Boyle taught students how to write journalistically and even held fake news conferences so his journalists could practice their reporting skills.

As a drama teacher, he specialized in Shakespeare, and directed 15 student productions at NTHS until his retirement in 1988. During summers he earned his doctorate in Theater Arts from New York University, and wrote his dissertation on Elizabethan Theatre.

Another former NTHS teacher told the Tribune, “He made kids like things they wouldn’t ordinarily think they wanted to like—Shakespeare being one…and that was because of Bob—he made it real in their lives.”

After retiring from NTHS, he worked for Northwestern at the Newberry Library and SESP, where he helped place student teachers at Chicago schools and organized seminars for teachers to learn about research.

He is survived by Mac Detmer, his spouse and partner of seventeen years; his stepchildren, Stuart and Allison; his sister, Patricia Boyle Savage; and nieces, nephews, friends and generations of students.

1970s Featured Legacies Legacies

John Lucadamo (MSJ70)

John Thomas Lucadamo, a Chicago reporter turned high school teacher, died April 14, 2019. Born Feb. 8, 1946, in Rahway, N.J., he was 73. Lucadamo first earned a bachelor’s degree from Alfred University in western New York in 1968 and then a master’s degree in journalism from Medill in 1970.

Lucadamo reported and edited in Chicago for almost 20 years before changing course and becoming an English and journalism teacher at New Trier High School in Winnetka, according to the Chicago Tribune. Before coming to Chicago, he worked as a reporter and as a copy editor at the Louisville Courier-Journal in Kentucky from 1970 until 1976, and then joined the Chicago Sun-Times in 1976 as a copy editor.

After nine years at the Sun-Times, Lucadamo became a copy editor for the Chicago Tribune in 1985 and then shifted to working as a metro reporter, covering suburban news for the Tribune. Just 3 years after arriving at the Tribune, Lucadamo covered the well-publicized discovery of a Chicago Outfit burial ground in southeastern DuPage County, wrote the Tribune.

Lucadamo eventually developed a respectable and reliable beat covering public schools in the northern Chicago suburbs.

His interest in education led Lucadamo to eventually leave the Tribune in order to explore a career as a schoolteacher. He took classes at Loyola University to earn a state teaching certificate and in 1996 took a job as an English and journalism teacher at New Trier.

Lucadamo also was the faculty sponsor for the New Trier News student newspaper, and he often worked late into the night to help students meet their deadlines and produce compelling journalism that would pique the interest of the student body.

After retiring from New Trier in 2011, Lucadamo taught classics like William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens at Northwestern’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, where he organized classes in his free time.

Lucadamo is survived by his wife, and his children Kirk and Eleanor.

Photo credit: Chicago Tribune

1960s Featured Legacies Legacies

Margaret “Midge” Carol McGilvray (BSJ60)

Margaret “Midge” Carol McGilvray, a public schoolteacher and principal, died January 29, 2019, in Annapolis, Maryland. She was 80.

McGilvray, according to the Spokesman-Review, was born into a blue-collar family, where she developed a strong work ethic. A fast learner and high achiever, she studied journalism at Medill on a full scholarship.

After college she began working in the public education system in Oakland, California. In 1979 she, her husband Donald, and her two sons Douglas and Ross, moved to Spokane, Wash., where McGilvray earned a master’s in education from Whitworth, became an elementary school principal, and was known to seek out more challenging positions at schools with disadvantaged students, according to the Spokesman-Review.

She is remembered for her determination to achieve excellence for herself and for all whom she knew. The Spokesman Review said that McGilvray was kind, loving and truly concerned about the welfare of others, adding that her spirit and drive were inextinguishable, and would be sorely missed by those who knew her.

She is survived by her brother Robert McAllen, her sons, their wives, and a multitude of granddaughters and great grandchildren.

1950s Featured Legacies Legacies

Barbara Louise Norby (BSJ55)

Barbara Louise Norby of Bainbridge Island, Wash., died Feb. 28, 2019. She worked in public relations and marketing, practiced yoga, studied Sanskrit, raised a family, and traveled the world. She was 85.

Norby was born in Rowayten, Conn. in 1933 but spent her childhood in many places, including Virginia, where she and her friends would often race up the stairs of the Washington Monument.

Norby, who was valedictorian of her high school class, went on to major in journalism at Medill on a full scholarship, where she met Richard Palmer Hollis (BSJ55). The couple dated exclusively, and after graduating in 1955, they married. Norby worked in New York City as a public relations specialist, until the birth of her three sons: Charles Palmer, James Richard and John William. In 1966 the family moved to Los Altos, Calif.

As her children grew, she returned to the workforce. Rapidly she climbed the ladder, rising to manage entire marketing departments for high-tech and biomedical firms.

Norby is remembered for her curiosity and wide range of interests, including yoga. She became the founder and president of the Yoga Society of America and learned Sanskrit. She explored self-hypnosis, studied nutrition and traveled widely.

She and her husband retired in 1995 and moved to Bainbridge Island, where they remained active in the local church community. After finding a deep passion for the Eastern healing art of Reiki, Norby founded one of the first Christian Reiki groups.

Norby is survived her husband by nine years and her grandchildren.

1960s Featured Legacies Legacies

Connie Kang (MSJ64)

Kyonshill Connie Kang (MSJ64), thought to be the first Korean American female reporter in the United States, died Aug. 1, 2019. She was 76.

Kang was born in 1942 in what is now North Korea. By the time she was 4 her family had fled their ancestral homeland, settling first in Okinawa, Japan, and later in San Francisco, according to a biography of Kang in “Distinguished Asian Americans: a Biographical Dictionary.” Kang’s passion for English and writing blossomed through her “tumultuous and circuitous”  journey to America–across three countries and in three languages.

Kang studied journalism as an undergraduate at the University of Missouri, according to her biography, and then in 1964 she became the first Korean to receive her master’s degree from Medill.

After graduating she wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner. Kang became the first Korean-speaking reporter at the Los Angeles Times in 1992, the Times said in an Obituary of Kang, after the paper acknowledged a growing need for reporters who could share the voices of Los Angeles’ Asian American communities.

“She would be flooded with calls from Korean Americans who wanted to get their stories out there, because no one else in the mainstream media spoke their language,” Hyungwon Kang, a former LA Times photo editor, told the Times.

Connie Kang also wrote a regular column for Koreatown Weekly, where coworkers spoke of her invaluable contributions to journalism.

In her final years at the Los Angeles Times, Kang began reporting and writing about religion, and then left the paper to become a minister. She graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2017, passed the U.S. Presbyterian Church’s ordination exam, and dreamed of building a Christian school in North Korea.

Friends told the LA Times they remembered her as “aesthetic-minded”: that she wore colorful wide-brimmed hats, drove with gloved fingers, and grew orchids.

Kang was buried next to her parents and younger brother in San Francisco, according to Hyungwon Kang.

Photo Credit: LA Times