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Many Jarrett wedding guests have ties to U. of C.

Members U.S. Secret Service scan guests arriving LaurJarrett's wedding Saturday June 16 2012 Chicago. LaurJarrett is daughter Valerie Jarrett senior

Members of the U.S. Secret Service scan guests arriving to Laura Jarrett's wedding, Saturday, June 16, 2012, in Chicago. Laura Jarrett is the daughter of Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Barack Obama. President Obama and his family are attending the wedding. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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Updated: July 19, 2012 6:20AM



WASHINGTON — Cook County Circuit Court Judge Neil Cohen officiated at the Saturday wedding of the daughter of White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, attended by President Barack Obama, Michelle and their daughters.

In a ceremony at the home where Jarrett spent much of her youth — a block north of the Obama home on South Greenwood — Laura Jarrett married Tony Balkissoon before family and friends.

The two met while at Harvard Law School and now practice at rival Chicago law firms, Balkisson at Sidley Austin and Jarrett at Mayer Brown.

Cohen sits in the Chancery Division at the Daley Center and is the husband of Jarrett friend and confidante Susan Sher, who is the former chief of staff for the first lady. Cohen also is close to Jarrett’s parents: her late father Dr. James Bowman, who died last year, and her mother, Dr. Barbara Bowman.

Sher left the White House last year and is now an executive vice president at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Many of the attendees at the wedding — like Jarrett and the Obama family — have ties to the U. of C.

The wedding festivities took place in the house and in a tent in the large yard. City of Chicago records show Dr. Bowman received a permit for the tent.

Among those present:

Newton and Jo Minow: Minow is a senior counsel at Sidley. When Obama was at Harvard Law School, Minow recommended Sidley hire him for a summer job. Obama met his future wife, Michelle, at the firm. Minow’s daughter, Martha, is the Harvard Law School dean.

John Levi: The Sidley partner who actually hired Obama — and before him, one Michelle Robinson. Obama tapped Levi to be the Chairman of the Legal Services Corporation. Obama appointed Martha Minow to the LSC board.

Martin Nesbitt: He is a friend of Jarrett and the Obamas’ and lives a few blocks away. Lesser known is that he is the treasurer of the Obama for American campaign committee. His wife, Dr. Anita Blanchard is also one of Mrs. Obama’s closest friends. She is an Associate Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology at the U. of C. Medical School — where Dr. James Bowman was a professor.

Eric and Cheryl Whitaker: The two are close to Jarrett and the First Couple. Whitaker is an executive at the U. of C. Medical Center.

Vernon and Ann Jordan: The connection to Jarrett is through Ann Dibble Jordan, a cousin. She is a trustee emeritus at the U. of C.

John Rogers and his daughter, Victoria: Rogers, the founder of Ariel Investments, grew up with Jarrett on South Greenwood. Years later, by chance, Rogers recruited Craig Robinson — Michelle’s brother — to play basketball at Princeton. Rogers former wife — Victoria’s mother — is Desiree Rogers, a former White House Social Secretary whose departure strained the relationship with Jarrett and Mrs. Obama.

Paula Wolff and Wayne Whalen: Wolff — who has a long civic resume — and Whalen — a partner at Skadden Arps — are longtime Jarrett South Greenwood neighbors.

Antoinette Cook Bush: a Jarrett cousin who is a partner at Skadden.

Roxanne Ward: A friend who is a former executive at Ariel.

Attorney General Eric Holder and Sharon Malone: Malone, an ob-gyn, is also a close friend to Jarrett and Mrs. Obama.

Allison and Susan Davis: Obama joined Davis’ law firm out of Harvard Law School.

Dan and Fay Hartog Levin: After Jarrett, a onetime top staffer for former Mayor Richard M. Daley, left City Hall, she landed at Levin’s The Habitat Company. Obama tapped Mrs. Levin to be the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, a position she resigned last year.



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