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Neena Schwartz's Tribute


Neena Schwartz, Professor Emerita
Read at the departmental memorial event
Guild Lounge, Scott Hall
May 15, 2013
In 1974, I moved from the Medical Center at Northwestern's downtown campus to the College of Arts and Sciences in Evanston. I looked forward eagerly to a more  gender-equal environment than I had experienced in either the University of Illinois or the Northwestern medical schools, where I had been teaching and doing research. I was naïve. But I soon discovered Rae Moses and the Organization of Women Faculty, as well as the Women’s Center. Rae provided a steady leadership for gender equity, with easy humor covering a steely resolve. And she made so much difference to the atmosphere on our campus. Not everything women needed and deserved was accomplished easily, but Rae with others moved us ahead steadily.

In the New Yorker for April 15, 2013, there is a moving article about the life of Shulamit Firestone, an important radical feminist of the 1960s. A major focus of the article tells of the internal squabbles among many of the participants, which resulted in   costly setbacks to the cause. The Northwestern community is very lucky that Rae’s leadership style was  humorous and congenial, but always focused on achieving our goals. She made all of the difference, and we are the richer for her presence.