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Historian Jim Bendat ’71 has attended four of the last five presidential inaugurations and been part of media coverage of the event since 2000. The former Los Angeles County public defender is the author of "Democracy's Big Day: The Inauguration of Our President, 1789-2013." We asked Bendat to share some of his favorite inauguration anecdotes and to reflect on how this year’s event will be unlike any other in our history.

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Seeing her own family members treated unfairly in health care settings gave Melissa Simon ’06 the resolve to become a doctor and change health care from the inside. Today, she combines research and community outreach to reduce gaps in health care services for medically underserved communities.

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Conductor, composer and arranger Kevin Vondrak talks about his new arrangement of Northwestern's “Alma Mater,” his love of a cappella, and how his job as a conductor and artistic associate with The Crossing, a grammy winning choir based in Philadelphia, has changed during COVID-19.

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In order to avoid being deported to Korea, in the midst of a pandemic, world-class pianist EunAe Lee must convince Immigration and Naturalization Service officials that her unique gifts at the piano are an asset to the music community here in the U.S.

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Molly Beucher ’08 and her friend Georgia Maguire trekked 500 miles across Morocco on miniature motorbikes. Partnering with Education for All Morocco, an organization focused on educating young girls in remote areas, Beucher and Maguire's seven-day adventure took them through desert, mountains and gorges of the North African country.

Read about the trip

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Scientist, entrepreneur and investor Sinan Aral discusses how he became interested in social media research, outlines some of his most important findings and reflects on the Northwestern professors who impacted him most.

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Before embarking on Forrest Fenn's treasure hunt, Northwestern alumnus Jim Miller had been comfortably occupying a safe, cubicle-like state-of-mind. Fenn's challenge coaxed him out into nature and the unknown.

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We were only 15 minutes into our lab meeting when my single tear became what Oprah calls “the ugly cry.” My graduate students are therapists in training at the Family Institute at Northwestern, so they met my wave of emotion with empathy. I felt embarrassed, nonetheless.

Read Alexandra Solomon's essay

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For nearly half a century, Shep Shanley has been introducing Northwestern to prospective students around the globe. And honestly, he says, in 49 years the job hasn’t changed much.

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“When you're in this position, as I am, as a mother who has lost a child, it never goes away. It's just sometimes you can bury it a little bit deeper than other days.” In 2016 Shapearl Wells’ 22-year-old son, Courtney Copeland, was found outside a Chicago police station with a fatal bullet wound in his back.

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