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Distinguished Alumni Awards Given by University of Chicago Business School.

CHICAGO -- John Edwardson, chairman and chief executive of CDW Corporation, Vernon Hills, Ill., was named the distinguished corporate alumnus of 2006 by the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

David Vitale, chief administrative officer and chief operating officer of Chicago Public Schools was named distinguished alumnus in the public sector, while California software entrepreneur Jaithirth (Jerry) Rao was chosen as distinguished entrepreneurial alumnus and Julie Roehm, senior vice president of marketing communications for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was named distinguished young alumnus of the year.

They will receive their awards at the school's annual alumni celebration dinner Friday, October 6 at the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom in Chicago.

The winners were selected by groups of alumni in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, London and throughout Asia. Nominations were sought from the school's 40,000 alumni.

Edwardson was chosen as the distinguished corporate alumnus for his professional accomplishments leading to strong growth at CDW, a large retailer of computers, components, software and electronics, and for his earlier business successes. He served as president and chief operating officer of United Airlines, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Ameritech and chief executive of Burns International Services.

Edwardson received his MBA from the University of Chicago in 1972.

Vitale, a 1976 graduate of Chicago GSB, was named distinguished alumnus in the public sector or public service. Under his direction, Chicago Public Schools closed a $200 million budget deficit by eliminating about 270 positions, many of them outside consultants. Vitale, whose pay is $1 per year, also was instrumental in the creation of Renaissance 2010, a program announced in 2004 that calls for closing about 75 troubled schools and replacing them with nearly 100 smaller ones.

Earlier in his career Vitale was president of First National Bank of Chicago, vice chairman of First Chicago NBD Corporation, and vice chairman of Bank One Corporation.

Rao, winner of the distinguished entrepreneurial alumnus award, founded MphasiS, a California software company, in 1998 with a partner. When he sold 52 percent of the firm earlier this year for $380 million there were 12,000 employees.

Rao led MphasiS through a series of acquisitions to expand its products. The company is now headquartered in Bangalore, India and has 10 offices in India in addition to offices in Japan, China, Singapore, Australia, Europe, North America and Central America.

Rao received his MBA from the University of Chicago in 1981.

Roehm, a 1995 graduate of Chicago GSB, will receive the distinguished young alumnus award for her successes at Ford and Chrysler, where she began her marketing career. During 11 years in the auto industry she gained a reputation as an innovator who wasn't afraid to take risks. Her accomplishments included directing product introductions for the Ford Focus and Dodge Durango.

Roehm was appointed senior vice president of marketing communications at Wal-Mart earlier this year. She is responsible for advertising, creative services and special events for the company, the world's largest retailer.

Previous winners of the distinguished alumni awards include James Kilts, vice chairman of Procter and Gamble, Joseph Neubauer, chairman and chief executive of ARAMARK Corp., and Richard Teerlink, retired chairman, president and chief executive of Harley-Davidson, Inc.

The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business is one of the world's top business schools. It offers full-time MBA, part-time MBA and executive MBA programs in addition to open enrollment executive education, custom corporate education and a Ph.D. program. The school has permanent campuses in London and Singapore in addition to two locations in Chicago.

Current enrollment includes 1,100 full-time MBA students, 1,900 part-time MBA students and 120 Ph.D. students.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 3, 2006
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