A Day With Northwestern



For more than 40 years, A Day with Northwestern in Evanston has drawn more than 400 alumni, students, parents, and friends for a full day of presentations and lectures on timely topics from prominent Northwestern faculty and alumni. Attendees choose from 14 different lectures—on the arts, science, business, journalism, medicine, and more— to personalize their class schedule and enjoy engaging discussions with fellow alumni and friends. View a social media recap of the 2015 event in this Storify. >>

View the 2015 brochure here

View Photos from the 2013 Program


A Day with Northwestern 2015

April 18, 2015
Norris University Center
1999 Campus Drive, Evanston

Registration fee includes two keynotes, choice of three breakout sessions, and a box lunch.  An assortment of meat, vegetarian and vegan sandwiches will be available. 


Please note - there is no pricing available for individual sessions, only the full day.

Register by March 31 and save $10.
$55: Early registration by March 31
$65: April 1 and after

Young Alumni (Undergrad Years ‘05 – ‘14)

Current Northwestern Student

Free parking is available in the Segal Visitors Center garage.

9 - 10 a.m.               Morning Sessions
10:15 - 11:15 a.m.  Mid-Morning Sessions
11:15 - 12 p.m.        Lunch (box lunch included)
12:15 - 1:30 p.m.    Early Afternoon Keynote
1:45 - 2:45 p.m.      Afternoon Sessions
3 - 4 p.m.                 Late Afternoon Keynote


The Four Pillars of Prosperity
Brian S. Wesbury ’89 MBA,
Chief Economist, First Trust Advisors, LP
Between dropping oil prices, quantitative easing, tapering, rate hikes, and the rise of ISIS, investors face new worries almost every day. Brian Wesbury believes that successful investors can circumvent these concerns by following the four pillars of prosperity. As a winner of the Wall Street Journal’s annual economic forecasting award and a nationally acclaimed speaker and author, Wesbury offers unique insight that will solidify your investing despite today’s tumultuous market conditions.

“The Place That Cannot Be:” Mad Men and the Reimagining of Modern America
Michael Allen ’98 MA, ’04 PhD,
Associate Professor of History, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Michael Allen, a seasoned historian whose research focuses on the relationship between domestic and foreign affairs, will share insights from his first-year seminar Consumerism and Social Change in Mad Men America, in which he explores how the television show Mad Men has helped us rethink the decades between the 1930s and the 1970s. These years were defined by the quest for economic security through the expanding consumer society represented by the show. By focusing on business, consumer culture, and the world of work, Michael Allen will outline how Mad Men offers a nuanced perspective on continuity and change in mid-century America, and how that exceptional era relates to today.

Through the Lens of Ferguson: Current Issues at the Intersection of Race, Psychology, and Law
Destiny Peery ’09 MA, ’12 JD, ’12 PhD,
Assistant Professor of Law, School of Law
The events surrounding the nonindictments of the police officers who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, have highlighted issues concerning the intersection of race, bias, and law. While many feel that race played a substantial role in these legal proceedings, less is understood about the legal specifics behind these decisions. Social psychologist and legal scholar Destiny Peery will shed light on implicit and explicit biases in the law and the ways in which such biases produce explicit disparities, even without an intent to discriminate.

Irrational Fear? The Meanings of Hypochondria
Catherine Belling,
Associate Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics, Feinberg School of Medicine
Catherine Belling will explore hypochondria as a challenge to patients, doctors, and clinical reasoning itself. What does it mean when a patient is convinced that his or her symptoms are proof of serious illness, even if medical testing finds no evidence of disease? How do patients and doctors manage uncertainty when the physician’s biotechnology and the patient's mind seem to disagree? Belling, whose book A Condition of Doubt: The Meanings of Hypochondria won the 2013 Kendrick Book Prize, will explore the concept of hypochondria as a mental illness diagnosis, as a popular insult, and as a useful way to think about medical fears in our society.


Exploring the Universe with the Hubble Space Telescope
David M. Meyer,
Director, Dearborn Observatory and Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
The Hubble Space Telescope has revolutionized our understanding of the universe both near and far. Its stunning images of star-forming nebulae and distant galaxies have captivated public attention and inspired students of all ages. David Meyer oversees Northwestern’s Dearborn Observatory and has spent years exploring space using the Hubble Space Telescope and the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. Meyer will explain why the Hubble Telescope is unique and outline the science behind several of its most famous images, including the iconic image of the “Pillars of Creation” in the Eagle Nebula.

A Panel Discussion About Global Health Studies: Tackling Health Across Borders Inside and Outside the Classroom
Moderated by Dévora Grynspan ’76, ’83 PhD,
Director, Office of International Program Development; Assistant to the President for Global Initiatives; Co-Director, Global Health Program
Northwestern’s Global Health Studies program is an interdisciplinary minor that provides students with a strong foundation in the biological and socioeconomic determinants of worldwide disparities in human health. The program requires that students study abroad to gain a deeper understanding of the differences between public health in the US and other countries. You will hear directly from students who have studied public health in countries including China, Cuba, France, Israel, Mexico, South Africa, and Tanzania. They will discuss how their experiences have helped them develop professional skills and gain new personal, cultural, and social perspectives while pursuing their career goals in global health.

 • Lucy Blumberg (WCAS 2015 - American Studies and Gender & Sexuality Studies Major, Global Health Studies Minor; studied abroad in Cuba in Summer 2014)
• Emily Drewry (Medill 2015 - Journalism Major and International Studies Major, Global Health Studies Minor; studied abroad in South Africa in Spring 2014)
• Elizabeth Larsen (WCAS 2016 – Economics Major, Global Health Studies Minor, HPME; won Circumnavigator Grant – traveled to six countries in 10 weeks in summer 2014 and researched: "Tackling Childhood Malnutrition: A global study of scaling up grassroots approaches to catalyze world progress”)
• Nedra Lucas (WCAS 2015 – Anthro Major, Global Health Studies Minor; studied abroad in Tanzania in Summer 2014)

Hidden Treasures: The Library’s Death Collection

Scott Krafft, Curator, Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections
Michael McDowell, an acclaimed horror novel writer and coscreenwriter of the cult-classic film Beetlejuice, was fascinated by human reactions to the reality of death. Before he died in 1999, McDowell built a huge collection of realia and printed works relating to death practices, including collections of postmortem photographs, “spirit photographs,” mourning jewelry, and undertakers’ record books. Scott Krafft, curator of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, has brought these unconventional collections to Northwestern. In this seminar, Krafft will explore the history behind McDowell’s collections while highlighting their unique oddities and treasures.

Food, Phosphate, and Health Disparities
Myles Wolf,
Margaret Gray Morton Professor and Director, Center for Translational Metabolism and Health, Institute for Public Health and Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine
Myles Wolf will explore sources of phosphate in the food supply and their possible role in promoting disparities in kidney and cardiovascular health among minorities and the poor. Wolf, whose research focuses on chronic kidney disease, serves on editorial boards for the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, and Seminars in Nephrology, and is an ad hoc peer reviewer for several other journals.

LUNCH 11:15–NOON (Box lunch and beverage included. An assortment of sandwiches will be available.)


25 Years of Calling the ’Cats
Dave Eanet ’77,
Sports Director at WGN Radio and play-by-play announcer for Northwestern football and men’s basketball
Dave Eanet, the award-winning “voice of the Wildcats,” will reflect on his 40 years in Chicago radio, beginning when he was a student at the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. He’ll discuss some of the highs—and lows—of broadcasting Northwestern football and men’s basketball since the 1990s. He’ll also share his memories of working with some of Chicago’s radio legends and traveling with the 1985 Chicago Bears on their journey to a Super Bowl title. Eanet, an honorary member of the Northwestern Athletics Hall of Fame, was named the 2011 Illinois Sportscaster of the Year by the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters. In August 2014, at the beginning of Eanet’s 25th season calling Wildcats football, Northwestern named the Ryan Field radio broadcast booth in his honor.


Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and its Legacies
Robert Linrothe,
Associate Professor of Art History, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Tour the Block Museum's winter exhibition with faculty curator Robert Linrothe, a seasoned specialist in Buddhist art of the Himalayas. The exhibition examines the movement of intricate, beautifully-crafted objects of religious belief from Buddhist shrines in Kashmir to those in the Western Himalayas, and from there to museums and private collections in the West. Drawing on some of the finest works from the seventh to 17th centuries in major museums, the exhibition asks challenging questions about the motivations and practices of collectors, and the benefits and consequences of collecting another culture’s art.

How Synthetic Biology is Transforming Medicine, Technology, and Society
Mike Jewett,
Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
Rapid population growth, a rise in global living standards, and concerns about climate change have intensified the need for sustainable, low-cost production of bioenergy, commodity chemicals, and medicines. Mike Jewett will describe recent advances in synthetic biology that are opening new frontiers for biomanufacturing, touching nearly all aspects of our lives. Jewett’s lab at Northwestern is developing cell-free biology as an enabling technology for biomanufacturing lifesaving therapeutics, sustainable chemicals, and novel materials, both quickly and on-demand. The lab focuses on designing, constructing, and modifying biological systems that hold great promise for advancing synthetic biology.

The “L”—Chicago's Biggest Mover and Shaker
Greg Borzo ’85 MS,
Independent writer
Explore Chicago’s world-famous transit system in all its grit and glory with Greg Borzo, award-winning journalist and author of The Chicago “L.” Borzo, a graduate of the magazine program at the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, will examine the growth and development of the “L” by explaining why it was built, how it changed the city and suburbs, and why it must be preserved. This entertaining and informative historical presentation will be lavishly illustrated with 100 images, plus movie clips that feature the “L” in fun, surprising ways. This lively, entertaining tour through time will end with a free raffle of a few “L”-related items. Mass transit never looked so good!

Deconstructing the Classical Art Song Recital
Carissa Casbon ’92,
Vocal coach
Carissa Casbon, a classical singer and graduate of the Bienen School of Music, has taught vocal performance privately for eight years and has performed principal roles and concerts with the Minnesota, Sarasota, and Santa Fe Operas; Chicago Opera Theater; and other companies. Join her as she discusses the classical art song as a counterpoint to the glamour of opera. A poem set to music, the art song draws the listener into an intimate world of its own. Casbon will explain the creative process of programming a recital, highlighted by a live performance.


The Fabulous Future? America and the World in 2040
Gary Saul Morson '11P,
Frances Hooper Professor of the Arts and Humanities and professor of Russian literature, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Gary Saul Morson, one of the most popular professors at Northwestern and an authority on Russian literature and intellectual history, will discuss some of the topics analyzed by experts in The Fabulous Future? America and the World in 2040, a book he edited with Northwestern President Morton Schapiro. Morson will describe the book’s origins and delve into its central themes, including the future of civil liberties, prospects for education in the humanities, and the difficulties of prediction itself. Morson has written books covering subjects from Tolstoy and Dostoevsky to the nature of time, and from the origins of quotations we use every day to the pithy sayings we call aphorisms. His Introduction to Russian Literature course regularly attracts up to 500 students.

Join the Conversation #ADayWithNU

Visit the A Day with Northwestern space in Our Northwestern to engage in discussion with fellow alumni about A Day with Northwestern.

The Hilton Orrington/Evanston Hotel is the official host hotel for A Day with Northwestern. A special rate of $149 per night has been prearranged for event attendees. The hotel requires a guarantee of the first night’s room rate and tax, which may be provided by credit card. This also guarantees the reservation for late arrival.
• Call 1-800-HILTONS (1-800-445-8667)
Please identify yourself as being with the “A Day with Northwestern” group to receive the discounted rate.
• Reserve online at orringtonevanston.hilton.com
Please enter online booking code ADAY in the area that asks for a Group/Convention Code.