Press Release

Chessicks Honored for Exceptional Contributions

From left:  NIU Law Alumni Council President Kenya Jenkins-Wright ('03), Dr. Kenneth C. Chessick ('84), Ellen Chessick, Dean Jennifer Rosato, and Stacey Mandell ('96).

From left: NIU Law Alumni Council President Kenya Jenkins-Wright ('03), Dr. Kenneth C. Chessick ('84), Ellen Chessick, Dean Jennifer Rosato, and Stacey Mandell ('96).

December 21, 2012

DeKalb, Ill.--The Northern Illinois University College of Law Alumni Council honored two of its most generous donors and passionate advocates. On Friday, December 14, Kenneth (’84) and Ellen Chessick were honored at an NIU Law Reception held at Chicago’s Sheraton Hotel. Hosted by Dean Jennifer Rosato and the NIU Law Board of Visitors, the event took place during the Illinois State Bar Association’s Midyear Meeting.

Dr. Kenneth C. Chessick (’84), was named Alumnus of the Year in recognition of exceptional career achievements, devotion to the public good, and devotion to the College of Law. Ken is a trial lawyer, a general surgeon, and CEO/Chairman of the Board of Directors of, a major internet marketing company benefitting consumers and restaurants nationwide. He founded his law firm, the Law Offices of Kenneth Chessick, M.D., in 1984 and concentrates his practice in medical and hospital negligence and personal injury, representing catastrophically injured victims in Illinois and Nevada. The Chessick firm has achieved record verdicts at trial and settlements in excess of $100 million. He is a member the NIU Law Board of Visitors as well as the NIU Foundation Board of Directors. In 2001, he was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.

Ellen Chessick received the Honorary Alumna Award, recognized for professional integrity and extraordinary commitment to the College of Law. Ellen is financial manager and vice president of strategic growth with She earned her bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has an MBA in finance from DePaul University. Ellen is a native of Chicago and an ardent NIU Huskie fan. Her volunteer service also includes co-chairing the NIU Foundation’s Red & Black gala, NIU’s premier event showcasing faculty, staff, and students. Her Huskie pride is evident in her commitment to the success and advancement of NIU in every area: academics, athletics, and in the community.

As volunteer and philanthropic leaders, the Chessicks seek to provide those at NIU and the College of Law every opportunity to be successful as lawyers and business professionals. The state-of-the-art Kenneth C. Chessick Legal Training Skills Center opened in 2004. They have also established student scholarships including the Kenneth C. Chessick Civil Justice Endowed Scholarship Program and the Kenneth and Ellen Chessick Bridge to the Bar Scholarship Fund. Most recently, the Chessicks pledged $3 million to NIU athletics for the Kenneth and Ellen Chessick Practice Facility. This gift is the largest ever made to Northern Illinois Athletics and the second-largest gift to the university.

Ken and Ellen are part of a distinguished group of honorees recognized by the NIU Law Alumni Council for their career accomplishments, devotion to the public good, and continued service to the law school. This year’s group of illustrious honorees came from the public and private sectors and are all dedicated to the communities they serve. Other award recipients were honored this past summer during the NIU Law Golf Outing and Awards Dinner (link to event).


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