October 05, 2011

Three to receive Distinguished Alumni honor

by Kathy Dillard

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Alumni Association will honor three prominent Southern Illinois University Carbondale graduates next week during Homecoming festivities.

The SIU Alumni Association will honor the trio on Friday, Oct. 14, during a public reception and photo unveiling in the Alumni Lounge in the Student Recreation Center.  The framed photos will become part of the University’s Distinguished Alumni Wall there.  The reception is at 4 p.m.  The public is welcome to attend.

Individuals are selected for the honor they bring to the University through outstanding performance in their career field or profession; the impact within their community; and their service to SIU Carbondale that benefits the University and enhances educational opportunities for current students.

The 2011 SIU Distinguished Alumni are: William A. Fenwick, ‘64, a founding partner of Fenwick and West LLP, a law firm that has been litigating technology, online commerce, and communications cases for more than 35 years; James P. Hamilton, ‘71 who recently retired after serving as the first president of Milestone Inc., a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1973 to provide residential and supportive services to persons with developmental disabilities; and Mark E. Keim ‘87, M.D. ‘91, the senior science advisor at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga., and adjunct professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.  He is a public health scientist and an emergency physician, specializing in disaster medicine and consulting for management of disasters worldwide.

Here is a closer look at this year’s nominees.

Fenwick’s clients have included such industry leaders as Apple Inc., eBay Inc., Macromedia, and Cisco Systems. The firm incorporated Apple Inc., in 1976, and since then has had a hand in many landmark initial public offerings, as well as mergers and acquisitions transactions. His firm has been a driving force in the area of legislation regarding privacy and the handling of sensitive electronic information. The firm’s successes aren't limited to the courtroom and the boardroom -- the firm enjoys a reputation as one of the best places in the country to work. For four consecutive years, from 1999 to 2002, Fenwick and West, LLP, made Fortune Magazine's list of “The 100 Best Companies to Work For,” the only law firm to appear on the list for that span of time.

Hamilton’s not-for-profit corporation eventually grew into a business worth $25 million, and it is one of the largest employers in the Rockford area.  A leader in Illinois in the field of developmental disabilities, Hamilton was one of just five professionals nationwide asked by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to serve on a steering committee to draft a national plan on new housing options for people with developmental disabilities.  He founded Hamilton Consulting Ltd. in 1979 to provide assistance to corporations similar to Milestone. Aside from Hamilton’s work with the disabled, four Illinois governors have also appointed Hamilton to several boards and commissions.

Keim is a public health scientist and an emergency physician, specializing in disaster medicine and consulting for management of disasters worldwide. He twice received the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service for his work as co-lead of CDC emergency operations during the World Trade Center and anthrax emergencies in 2001, and again for Hurricane Katrina in 2006. In 2005, he received the CDC Special Act or Service Award for leading the U.S. health sector response after the Indian Ocean tsunami. Keim is the author of numerous scientific presentations and publications involving terrorism, environmental health, emergency medicine, toxicology, global health, and disaster management. He has been a member of the White House Subcommittee for Disaster Reduction since 2006, and has served as a review editor for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 2009.

The SIU Distinguished Alumni Award began in 1998, and goes to the University’s most successful alumni.  Recipients demonstrate the achievements possible with a Southern Illinois University Carbondale education.

“We are honored to have these alumni return to campus not only to accept this award, but to meet with students and demonstrate the value of an SIU Carbondale education,” said Michelle Suarez, executive director of the SIU Alumni Association and associate vice chancellor for institutional advancement.