Northwestern Auditorium Named After First Black Medical School Graduate
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine dedicated a new state-of-the-art auditorium and atrium to Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, the school’s first African American graduate and faculty member and one of the noteworthy physicians of the 20th century.
Williams served on the Northwestern medical faculty from 1885 to 1889 and performed one of the world’s first successful heart operations in 1893.
The atrium will house commemorative displays and a bust of Williams, by Preston Jackson, renowned Illinois artist and professor of sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Jackson was awarded the Order of Lincoln Medallion, Illinois’ highest honor for personal achievement. His commissions include a bronze sculpture relief to honor poet Gwendolyn Brooks, a bronze relief of Cohokia Mounds Museum and a life-sized cast bronze of Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable in Peoria.
Williams received his medical degree from Chicago Medical College in 1883, 13 years after Northwestern University and the college became affiliated. In 1981, the name of the school was changed to Northwestern University Medical School.
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