Dean Susan C. Scrimshaw with congratulatory
city and state proclamations at the
School's Silver Anniversary Gala

Last year we celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of our first graduating class. Our very successful year included three awards to the school, a Lake Michigan dinner cruise for students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends, and a gala dinner dance.

Another key success was the commitment by Chancellor David Broski to a new home for the School of Public Health. Renovations are under way, and we expect the majority of our divisions and centers to be installed at 1601 West Taylor Street in the year 2,000. This will allow us to take even greater advantage of the growing synergy among our research and service initiatives that began with the unification of the Health Research and Policy Centers in 1997. Faculty, students, and staff will finally have the resources, space, and access to each other needed to carry out their work in optimal conditions. A picture of the building and further details on it appear in the Features section.

After our first twenty-five years, it seems fitting to look at the accomplishments of some of our alumni. We wanted to take this opportunity to focus on their achievements and service as representatives of this school. This issue profiles a range of our graduates and follows their diverse paths around the world, into city, state, and federal government, out to regions in countries from Zambia to Sudan to Venezuela, and back again to Chicago communities.

We also wanted to take the opportunity offered by these profiles in service to tell some of  the story of public health. I often have difficulty answering the question “What is public health?” because it is the sum of so many contributing disciplines. Public health is distinct because of its ability to draw on a wide array of resources to find multifaceted solutions to multifaceted problems. But this also means that public health is difficult to explain to the public it serves. The result is that much of what we achieve goes unnoticed or unacknowledged. We need to teach our students to articulate the mission and work of public health as our alumni do in these pages.

To this end, a group of our faculty members drafted a statement of values for the School of Public Health. After review by the faculty at large, as well as alumni, students, and staff, the statement was further refined and was read aloud for the first time by graduates at this year’s convocation. The statement of values, also presented in Features, is another landmark in the development of the school. As we enter our second quarter century, it clarifies and affirms our present and future commitment to creating a healthy society for all.

Susan C. Scrimshaw, PhD

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