2005 Beberman Award Winner: Thomas Clark Shedd

Thomas Clark Shedd, a member of the Uni High Class of 1936, was named the 2005 Beberman Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. A native of Phoenixville, PA, who now makes his home in Evanston, Tom earned a bachelor's degree in Railway-Electrical Engineering from the U of I in 1940. The 2005 award recipient has set a "track" record with a railroad career that spans some 55 years and includes traveling at 5 miles an hour to test rail in all 48 contiguous states as well as writing some 1,000 railroad feature articles and about 800 opinion pieces for a variety of publications, including Modern Railroads, Trains, Railway Age, the Encyclopedia Britannica, World Book Encyclopedia and Compton's Encyclopedia. In 1951, he joined Modern Railroads magazine as associate editor in Chicago. A year later, he went to New York as eastern editor. He returned to Chicago in 1959 to become Editor-in-Chief, a position he held for 24 years, until July 1983. During that time, he won 14 awards for editorial and graphics excellence. In addition, to his keen interest in railroading, Tom is a classical music fan and audiophile. He began collecting classical albums in 1938 and now has a collection of more than 2,000, including 1,600 L.P.s, more than 200 cassettes that he has mostly recorded himself and some 300 CDs. Tom says trains have always been of interest to him, but he originally intended to pursue a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering when he left Uni for the University of Illinois. However, his aptitude for writing soon led to him having his first article published in a commercial magazine, Railway Age, when he won firsts prize in a 1937 contest sponsored by the Illinois Central Railroad for an article entitled, "What I like Best in Modern Railroading and Why." He also began writing for Technograph, the student engineering magazine at the U of I. Tom has been a driving force in keeping members of class connected and meeting regularly for nearly 70 years. Before Uni had an Alumni Office, Tom regularly researched addresses and telephone numbers of class members and published a directory for the Uni Class of 1936.

Congratulations Mr. Shedd, the 2005 Max Beberman Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.

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