In the Spring of 1982, the Board of Directors of the Yale Club of Chicago resolved to establish a Yale Club of Chicago Distinguished Service Award. The Award is to be presented from time to time to a Chicago-area alumnus or alumna who has made significant contributions to the welfare of Yale and the Chicago community.

William McCormick Blair of the class of 1907 was selected to be the first recipient of the Award. He was advised of this and, although not generally fond of public accolades, he was delighted to accept. Shortly thereafter, and before the Award could be presented to him, Bill Blair died, at the age of 97.

The Award was presented posthumously, and the Board of Directors resolved to name the Award in honor of its first recipient. Since that time, the William McCormick Blair Distinguished Service Award has been presented to:

Gaylord Donnelley ’31

Clinton E. Frank ’38

Richard J. Franke ’53

Irving B. Harris ’31

Vernon R. Loucks, Jr. ’57

Louis C. Sudler ’25

Susan Crown ’80

Robert Bradner ’53

Andrew K. Block ’61

Alfred L. McDougal ’53

Richard A. Pinto ’48

Paul C. Gignilliat ’53

Philip S.J. Moriarty ’62, MA’64 

Peter K. Dickinson ’60E

Suzanne Gignilliat ’80

Scott R. Williamson ’80

Victor Chears '74

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