David Spadafora, Class of 1972

spadafora-outsideEver the educator, you taught at Simon’s Rock and at Yale, where you became dean of the university’s Morse College and Calhoun College, and then at Lake Forest, where you served as dean of the faculty and then president—all of this before moving to The Newberry. There you preside over one of the world’s premier independent libraries in the humanities, using its one and half million books, five million pages of manuscripts, and half a million historical maps to support researchers (professional and amateur), build communities of scholars, and introduce people of all ages to the pleasures of a life of the mind. The Newberry Seminar program for undergraduates has been called by its students truly life changing, and under your leadership the library has broadened its role in the cultural programming of one of the world’s great cities and has opened its doors more widely to the Chicago neighbors who had long passed by its stately building without realizing the delights within. How fitting it is that you now find yourself steward at The Newberry of one of the world’s foremost collections on the history of the book—that wonderfully powerful and enduring invention, which we celebrate today.