Djerassi is not only the co-inventor of the birth control pill — he’s also a playwright and author of at least twenty books and plays. He began graduate studies in chemistry in Madison at age twenty, and his research with Syntex in Mexico City led to the development of the first successful oral contraceptive in the early 1950s. Djerassi's growing interest in fiction led him to publish his first novel at age sixty-seven and his latest play will be presented in Madison in October.
Cable TV visionary Kay Koplovitz is the founder of the USA Network and the first female network president in television history. After serving as chair of the National Women's Business Council, she founded nonprofit Springboard Enterprises, which champions venture capital investments for women-led companies. Today, the author speaks frequently and manages her newest endeavor, Koplovitz & Company, a media-advisory and investment firm.
The twelfth child of parents who barely finished the sixth grade in tiny Kenbridge, Virginia, Cora Marrett earned her PhD in sociology and rose to leadership at the National Science Foundation (NSF). She serves as deputy director of the agency, which annually awards about $7 billion for basic research in nonmedical fields of science, engineering, mathematics, computer science, and the social sciences.
The senior partner in Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley in California had a hand in establishing a new branch of law when he won the landmark 1974 case Egan v. Mutual of Omaha,
resulting in what is known as bad-faith insurance law. Shernoff's work with Holocaust survivors is the subject of the documentary On Moral Ground.
Ben Sidran’s music career began when he played with Steve Miller x’67 and Boz Scaggs x’67 in a band called The Ardells during their UW undergraduate days. Sidran went on to produce the music of pop and jazz artists, create jazz programs for radio and television, and record and perform his own music. Sidran has advised the UW Center for Jewish Studies and this spring he visited with alumni and promoted his latest book, There was a Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream,
during a tour of five U.S. cities with WAA and the College of Letters & Science.