Press Release

NIU Law Announces $25,000 Addition to
Kenneth C. Chessick Scholarship Program

Kenneth C. Chessick Civil Justice Endowed Scholarship Program named
in honor of clients who were victims of medical negligence.

June 2, 2011

DeKalb, Ill. -- NIU Law alumnus Dr. Kenneth C. Chessick (’84) has donated another $25,000 to establish the Justin Pettway Award for the Study of Trial Advocacy and Ethics.  This becomes the fifth named scholarship in the Kenneth C. Chessick Civil Justice Endowed Scholarship Program.  Established in 2007, Dr. Chessick continues to contribute to the scholarship program using monies awarded from successful litigation of his cases to establish a series of scholarships named in honor of his clients.

The Justin Pettway Award for the Study of Trial Advocacy and Ethics is named for Justin Pettway, who passed away in 2006.  It was determined by a jury that Pettway was a victim of medical negligence.  This scholarship will be awarded to an eligible third-year law student who has excelled in and is able to articulate the importance of trial advocacy and ethics.

“Dr. Chessick has devoted his professional life, first as a surgeon and now as an attorney, to protecting patients and their legal rights,” said Dean Jennifer Rosato.  “He has turned his devotion and passion for medicine and the law into a legacy that nurtures the next generation of legal professionals from his alma mater.”

Through his scholarship program, Dr. Chessick seeks to reward student achievement and inspire changes to improve the justice system for injured individuals. The Kenneth C. Chessick Civil Justice Endowed Scholarship Program also includes the Hope Moller Scholarship Award for the Study of Tort Law, the Lakisha Sarden Scholarship Award for the Study of Civil Procedure Law, the Jacob Baker Scholarship Award for the Study of Constitutional Law, and the Dan DeWilde and Andrea DeWilde Award for the Study of Evidence Law.

Kenneth and Ellen Chessick have devoted themselves to student academic success for many years.  The Chessick Scholarship Program is among several generous gifts bestowed by the Chessicks to NIU Law. A sizable donation in 1999 was used to create the Kenneth C. Chessick Legal Training Skills Center, which opened at the law school in 2004. Incorporating a state-of-the-art courtroom, smart classroom, and deposition room, the Center is designed to introduce students to today’s technology being utilized in the courtroom.

Dr. Chessick’s service to the University also includes his active participation as a member of the NIU Law Board of Visitors as well as the NIU Foundation Board of Directors and its Development Committee.  In 2001, he was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by the NIU Alumni Association.  With successful careers in both the medical and legal profession, Dr. Chessick concentrates his legal practice in medical and hospital negligence and personal injury. His firm, The Law Offices of Kenneth C. Chessick, M.D., in Schaumburg, Ill., has achieved record verdicts at trial and settlements in excess of $100 million.


For more information, contact:
Melody Mitchell
Alumni Events & Public Relations
(815) 753-9655 or