Northwestern announces plans to remember law prof Saturday

Cat Zakrzewski, Campus Editor

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday for Dawn Clark Netsch, Northwestern professor emerita, at the School of Law’s Thorne Auditorium.

Netsch, a constitutional law expert who served in the Illinois State Senate for 18 years, died of complications related to Lou Gehrig’s disease March 5. She was 86.

Netsch made history as the NU Law School’s first female faculty member in 1965. She was the first woman to run for governor in a major party in Illinois in 1994, and she was made the Illinois State Comptroller in 1990. She represented the 13th then the 4th district as an Illinois senator and participated in the Illinois Constitutional Convention in 1970. Additionally, she wrote about the state and local government as a co-author of “State and Local Government in a Federal System.”

Netsch graduated Phi Beta Kappa from NU in 1948 and the School of Law in 1952.

Netsch’s family requests donations be made to the ALS-Les Turner Foundation or the School of Law in place of flowers. The University established a memorial website at

— Cat Zakrzewski