Established by the Class of 1982, the annual Tradition of Excellence Awards are given to recognize OPRFHS alumni who have made outstanding contgributions to society throught their personal and professional pursuits. Awards are presented annually in November. Alumni who have graduated 10 years prior to the date of the current graduating year and earlier are eligible for consideration - e.g. Class of 2000 graduates and earlier would be eligible in the 2009-2010 school year.
Click on a Year number to see Honorees for a Specific Year, or simply scroll downward to view all
2012 Return to Top Name, Award Category, Graduation Year
Linda Brubaker, M.D., M.S.
Linda Brubaker, M.D., M.S., currently is the Dean of the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Dr. Brubaker is a life-long Oak Parker who grew up as the second of five children, all OPRF grads. She completed her medical training at Rush University, where she established the first division of female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery in the Midwest. For nearly two decades, she directed this division, well known for high-quality clinical care, NIH-funded research productivity, educational contributions, and administrative expertise. A well-known reconstructive pelvic surgeon who has been on the cover of Chicago magazine, Dr. Brubaker has served in many prestigious professional roles, including president of the American Urogynecological Society and the Society of Gynecology Surgeons. Dr. Brubaker enjoys the variety of her work, which includes patient care, research, education, and administration.
Jeff Mauro was a ham from the beginning. Raised in a large family with four children, he competed for attention not by making his sisters cry but by making his family laugh. Jeff’s flairfor the stage was discovered early, in the Roosevelt Junior High third-grade production of “Let
George Do It!” From that point on, he immersed himself in the performing arts, especially at OPRF, where his talents were nurtured and blossomed. After graduating from Bradley University, he opened a deli with his cousin and instantly fell in love with cooking. At night, he satisfied his performing bug playing the role of Tony in the Chicago production of “Tony n’ Tina's Wedding.” After moving to Los Angeles in an attempt to meld his love of cooking and comedy, he married his first love, Sarah, a Chicago native, in 2005. After a few years of trying to make it in Hollywood, he enrolled in culinary school, graduated, and returned to Chicago. After three attempts, he finally landed himself on Season 7 of “Food Network Star,” which he successfully won. Jeff is now the host of Food Network's Emmy-nominated “Sandwich King” and the primetime hit “$24 in 24.”
Diana Elizabeth Jordan
Diana Elizabeth Jordan began her acting career in Chicago after graduating with a nbachelors’ degree in theater and media arts from the University of Kansas. In 2001 she became the first actress with a disability receive an MFA from California State University, Long Beach. Diana has appeared in more than 30 plays, two episodes of the WB’s “7th Heaven,” a web-based series, and several short and feature films. She advocates for disability to be included in dialogues about multicultural diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry. Diana serves on SAG-AFTRA’s Performers with Disabilities National Committee, and was one of the 2011 co-chairs for Inclusion in the Arts and Media for People with Disabilities Campaign. Diana is a motivational speaker at schools, colleges, and social service organizations. She also has been a volunteer mentor for National Disability Mentoring Day. Diana developed and ran performing arts summer camps for youth with disabilities for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; her students have appeared in more than 850 roles in film and television.
2011 Return to Top
Iris Krasnow was born and raised in Oak Park. She is a nationally known author and keynote speaker specializing in relationships and personal growth. A graduate of Stanford University, she became the fashion writer for the DallasTimes Herald, then moved to United Press International in Washington, D.C. to become the national feature writer. In her several years at UPI, Krasnow specialized in celebrity profiles, including Yoko Ono,Billy Graham, Ted Kennedy and Queen Noor of Jordan.
Iris is the bestselling author of Surrendering to Motherhood, Surrendering to Marriage, Surrendering to Yourself and I Am My Mother's Daughter. Her new book, The Secret Lives of Wives: Women Share What It Really Takes to Stay Married, was published by Penguin Books in October 2011.
Her writing has been featured in many national publications, including Parade, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Huffington Post. Krasnow has been a guest on numerous national television and radio programs including twice on Oprah. Iris is a journalism professor at American University in Washington, D.C. and is the mother of four sons. She encourages you to connect with her on: www.iriskrasnow.com
Philip Radford is the Executive Director of Greenpeace. At the helm of one of the most influential environmental organizations in the country, he leads a national team of 500 environmental leaders working in 23 cities on national and global campaigns to protect our planet’s oceans, forests, and climate.
With his roots in local organizing and fundraising, Phil has always specialized in mobilizing people to raise their voices for the right to clean air, clean water, and a healthy planet for our children. Phil began his environmental career as a student organizing the shutdown of incinerators on the West Side of Chicago.
As Greenpeace’s Grassroots and National Canvass Director, his team doubled the agency’s U.S. budget, quadrupled its staff, launched a national student organizing program, and created an online to offline mobilization program.
Over the past decade, Phil has managed several high-impact national campaigns, including Global Warming 2000, which convinced Senator John McCain to take leadership on global warming and The Global Climate Coalition Campaign that forced major corporations to stop funding an industry front-group supporting global warming skeptics. He persuaded Citigroup and more than a dozen communities to make investments in clean energy.
He is a regular contributor to Huffington Post and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, NBC, and ABC News, Phil has a degree from Washington University in St. Louis, and a certificate in Non-profit Management from Georgetown University.
2010 Return to Top
Kevin Sorensen, Class of 1985, is a stuntman from Oak Park, Illinois. He grew up working in the movie industry for his Dad, Gilbert Sorensen, doing numerous commercials and industrial films. After graduating from OPRFHS, Kevin spent four months in California learning how to perform stunts. Upon returning from California, Kevin enrolled at Columbia College pursuing a career in film, television and radio. His passion for stunts led him to follow his dream as a stuntman. While working as a part-time OPRF custodian on and off, Kevin also performed with a traveling stunt show across the United States for two years in the late 80's. He came back to work as a full-time custodian in 1993 while launching his career as a stuntman in the movie, Groundhog Day. He continued to perform stunts in television shows such as Easy Street, Turks, Early Edition (stunt double for Ron Dean), Prison Break, Ride Along and ATF. His film career also included numerous films, including Natural Born Killers, The Jackal, Mercury Rising, Death of a President, Fred Claus, Wanted, Public Enemies, On the Road to Perdition, Stranger Than Fiction, The Lake House, Witless Protection (stunt double for Larry the Cable Guy), Batman Begins and The Dark Knight (winner of The Screen Actors Guild for "Best Stunt Ensemble"). Kevin Sorensen, an OPRFHS custodian for 21 years, continues to follow his dreams as a stuntman. Always looking for the next big stunt!
Warren Trezevant is a Character Animator and Creative Lead for the 360 group at Pixar Animation Studios. Hired in 1995, Warren helped animate seven of Pixar’s feature films: A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars and Ratatouille. In addition to successfully bringing characters to life on the big screen, Warren expanded his role at Pixar by creating the ‘Toy Story Zoetrope,’ an updated version of an 18th century ‘illusion of movement’ device that pre-dates cinema and animation. The Toy Story Zoetrope premiered as part of the Pixar: 20 years of Animation exhibit, which opened at the New York Museum of Modern Art. By introducing Pixar to a new technology in the form of 3D printing, Warren took animation he created on the computer and printed each frame as a unique dimensional figurine. The Zoetrope gives the illusion that these figurines are springing to life right in front of your eyes. As part of the touring Pixar exhibit, the Zoetrope has been showcased in leading museums throughout the world in England, Japan, Scotland, Australia, Finland, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Mexico, and Oakland. Two additional Zoetropes were permanently installed at the Disney California Adventure theme park in California and Hong Kong Disneyland. Continuing the exploration of computer animation and dimensional figures, Warren helped animate the animatronic versions of Pixar's WALL-e and Luxo Jr. characters. Warren is currently working with the software teams at Pixar to help design and implement a renovation of their production software to improve the process of animating for feature films.
2009 Return to Top
Tom Lennon is currently an actor/comedian who writes for and stars in the popular T.V. show "Reno 911". He has a long list of successful acting, writing, directing and producing credits, including "Night at the Museum", "Herbie Fully Loaded" and the current comedy film, "17 Again".
In 1977, Warren Buckmaster developed the first solar home. He then developed an energy conserving tract of homes in Hemet, California, called Blue Skies Radiant Homes. His concept for home energy efficiency was a precursor to today’s green initiatives and has been featured nationally in televised documentaries, newspapers and magazines.
Aaron Parchem represented the United States at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Pairs Figure Skating. Aaron was the first African-American male figure skater to skate in the Olympic Games.
2008 Return to Top
Former President of Music/New Line Cinema, coverseeing music or many films, including Austin Powers, Wag the Dog, Blow, I am Sam; executive music producer for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, winning 3 Oscar nominations for music. Launched his career as assistant engineer on Apocalypse Now to famed Sound Designer, Walter Murch. Currently producer/consultant on music productions, working with record producer Salaam Remi and as executive producer for musical score of Laundry Warrior.
Youngest Music Director of Dick Clark’s live Good Ol’ Rock & Roll Show, performing w/ artists like Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Beach Boys; noted voice over artist; created “Let Freedom Sing” one-man show, benefiting NY firefighters in 9/11 aftermath; his 101st Rock Division band entertains troops in Mideast and his Forgotten Hero Foundation produces entertainment for veterans; Board member/ Director, National American Veterans Museum.
2007 Return to Top
Charles P. Carey
Three consecutive terms, Chairman/ Chicago Board of Trade, transitioning it to a NY Stock Exchange-listed public company; Anti-Defamation Leagues’ Lifetime of Achievement Award; Ellis Island Medal of Honor award; Rerum Novarum Award; President of the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame; Distinguished Alumni Award – Western Illinois University.
Silver Medalist and long-jump record holder in the Paralympic Gammes (2000 Sydney); manager of the U.S. Olympic Committee's (USOC) Paralympic Academy, Director of USOC Paralympic Sports Military Program; NCAA All-American honors winner; U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal
2006 Return to Top
Jayne Carr Thompson
Former first lady of Illinois; noted public affairs specialist and public relations practioner, as well as former trial and appellate lawyer; severed three Illinois governors on issues on issues relating to health and human service systems and status of women.
Sara Giddings Bode
Recipient of Rudy Bruner Award for “excellence in the urban environment;” served on boards of Michigan Avenue National Bank and the First Bank of Americas monitoring red-lining; Mayor Daley’s Task Force on Welfare Reform; forome rturee/president of Village of Oak Park board and Director of the Oak Park Development Corporation.
Terry C. Isaacson
Vice Provost at Arizona State Universitiy, overseeing the conversion of the former military base in to the vibrant university campus now serving 6,500 students; U.S. Air Force career of 27 years, holding many command positions, include Wing Commander at Williams AFB.
Elected to Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1964; partnered w;/ George Halas in development of National Football League, playing 13 seasons w/ the Chicago Bears; coached Green Bay Packers.
Mr. McAdam, a Registered Landscape Architect/Horticulture Specialist and President of McAdam Landscaping, Inc. for more than 26 years, has been responsible for the design of more than 1,500 commercial and residential installations. Mr. McAdam served as President of the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA) in 1992/1993 and received the ILCA’s Man of the Year Award. He continues to be a supporting member of the Chicago Department of Environment Greencorps Program and has served as a member of the University of Illinois Horticultural Advisory Board. He is a member of the Chicago Flower and Garden Show board and of the American Nursery and Landscape Association’s Information Technology Committee.
2005 Return to Top
Paul Harvey Aurandt, Jr.
Creator, Producer, and writer of the longest-running and most popular series in radio history, “The Rest of the Story®”. Inducted into the Radio Hall of fame in 2001.
Co-founder of the KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) Foundation and the Superintendent of KIPP Houston.
Patricia S. Paulsen
Served as the President of the League of Women Voters and in 1973, she became the first woman elected as a Trustee of the Village of Flossmoor.
Versatile film composer with compositions including piano melodies of “Confession of A Dangerous Mind", orchestral chases of “Hollywood Homicide", the Emmy-nominated HBO film “Normal”, and soulful melodies combined with ethereal orchestrations for “March of the Penguins”.
2004 Return to Top
E. Paul Braucher
Graduated from West Point Military Academy, MIT, and George Washington University. He went on to a distinguished 30-year career in U.S. Army and achieved the rank of Brigadier General in 1970.
Has been a member of the Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theater and has performed in several performances at the Civic Center for Performing Arts in Chicago under the artistic director, Randy Duncan.
Gregory V. Fera
Film and Television
Producer, writer and director. Among his many films and television shows are “Mysterious Ways,” “Muppets Tonight,” and “News in Revue.” Additionally, he has produced music videos for the Rolling Stones and Elton John.
Astronomer at the Bemini Observatory, Hilo ,Hawaii.
He co-discovered Quaoar, a rock and ice lanetoid residing in the Keiper Belt.
2003 Return to Top
Graduated the top of his class from Harvard Law School in 1988. He went on to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and is currently a Professor of Law at Harvard University.
Has been the weekend morning anchor at CLTV in Chicago and is now a reporter for ABC 7 in Chicago
Has been a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company since 1997.
Founder and Director of the Boston Baroque. This group is internationally acclaimed and has been nominated three times for the Grammy Award.
2002 Return to Top
Stewart Goldman, M.D.
Currently is the Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University School of Medicine and Medical Director of Neuro-Oncology at Children’s Memorial Hospital.
Was on the 1996 U.S. Olympic Women’s Softball Team that won the Olympic Gold Medal in Atlanta, Georgia
2001 Return to Top
Laura Kragie, M.D.
Current Adjunct Research Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Division of Clinical Pharmacology at Georgetown University Medical School in Washington D.C.
Jacqueline Schiff Nemerovski
Served as President of the San Francisco Arts Commission, Chair of the San Francisco Education Fund, and Former Associate Director of Development of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
2000 Return to Top
Accomplished physician and teacher.
Elsie Lunde Jacobsen
Reporter and news anchor
Edited the “AIA Guide to Chicago” / written several pieces on historical buildings in Chicago.
1999 Return to Top
Amy Ellen Anderson
Sang with the Aldeburgh Festival, appeared with Aspen Opera Theatre and the Bronx Opera
Writer for Chicago Tribune’s “Food Guide” and “Feeling Good”
Percy Lavon Julian, Jr.
Specializes in Civil Rights Cases
Professor of Medicine. Oncologist known for her breast cancer research
1998 Return to Top
Richard C. Atkinson
Member of National Academy of Sciences / President of the University of California system.
Anthony T. Browder
Founder/Director of the Institute of Karmic Guidance / Historian specializing in Egyptology.
Former president and CEO of Follett Corporation / Community Service.
James J. McClure, Jr.
President, Village of Oak Park 1973-81 / Who’s Who in America.
1997 Return to Top
Wallace S. Broecker
Distinguised scientist and researcher in geochemistry. Noted professor and author of numerous textbooks. Exceptional leader in earth sciences.
Clissold (Budd) Hill
Noted costume designer and researcher from Broadway to TV commercials to regional theatre. Specializes in Shakespearean and other classical plays. University of Delaware instructor in costume design.
1996 Return to Top
Thomas G. Colmey
Distinguished local physician
John W. McCarter
Director of Field Museum, Chicago
David A. Morowitz
Distinguished physician in Gastroenterology, author, and photographer.
Lewis R. Pope
Outstanding business leader
1995 Return to Top
Lincoln S. Dring, Jr.
Outstanding business leader.
Banta Book Award / PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award
Carol Warner Shields
Pulitzer Prize in Literature, 1995
Columnist, Chicago Sun-Times
1994 Return to Top
Performed with “Second City” and is the voice of Homer Simpson on the TV show “The Simpsons” .
Marjorie Judith Vincent
1991 Miss America
Traveled throughout the world as an Ambassador of Goodwill.
1993 Return to Top
William J. Adelman
Professor, Labor and Industrial Relations, University of Illinois-Chicago / Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.
Clerk of the Village of Oak Park, 1973-1993 / Served as advisor to the presidents of Rosary and Concordia Colleges / Board Member of the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park.
Vida Brown Olinick
Prominent ballerina of the 1940’s and 1950’s / One of Balanchine’s major dancers and served as his assistant.
1992 Return to Top
Allen D. Moses
Loren M. Smith
John V. Wehausen
Marcelline Hemingway Sanford
Arts and Letters
1991 Return to Top
Missionary in Thailand
William F. May
Dean of the New York University Graduate School of Business Administration, 1980- 84 / Chairman and CEO of American Can Company, 1965 – 1980 / Chairman and CEO of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Academy Award nominee (The Color of Money)
Pulitzer Prize in Poetry,1990 : "The World Doesn't End: Prose Poems -1989"
1990 Return to Top
Prima Ballerina – New York City Ballet
Roberta L. Raymond
Executive Director, Oak Park Housing Center / Board of Directors, National Federation for Neighborhood Diversity / Community Merit Award (OPDC), 1987 / Award for High Achievement in Social Services presented by the National Organization of Women, 1990.
Professor, Florida International University / Global 500 Honour for Environmental Achievement, 1987 (UNE of Rome
Edward C. Wagenknecht
Professor Emeritus, Boston University, Who’s Who in America / Featured Reviewer, Chicago Sunday Tribune / Principal Biographer: Lillian Gish, Geraldine Farrar, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain.
1989 Return to Top
President, ABC Communications, Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. / President’s Volunteer Action Award, 1987 / Illinois State Broadcaster of the Year, 1978.
Kermit E. Krantz
Professor and Chairman, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics; Professor of Anatomy and Lecturer – History of Medicine, University of Kansas.
Executive Director, Global Tomorrow Coalition / Former Foreign Service Officer / National Woodrow Wilson Fellow.
Senior Member of Howard, Rice, Nemerovksi, Canady, Robertson and Falk / Board of Trustees, American Conservatory Theatre / Board of Trustees, San Francisco Chamber Symphony / White House Fellow, 1965-1966 .
1988 Return to Top
Political Editor, Chicago Sun-Times, 1942-1972 / Marshall Field Award – Editorials / Outstanding Contribution to the Newspaper Industry, Chicago Newspaper Guild / Distinguished Service Award, Chicago Press Veterans.
Ambassador, United States Department of State / Superior Honor Award, Department of State.
Dean, University of Chicago Law School, 1963-1975 / Chairman, White House Task Force on Antitrust Laws, 1968 / Professor, Stanford Law School, 1949-1961 / United States Supreme Court Law Clerk, 1943-45 / Director, American Bar Association, 1963 – 1977
Associate Majority Counsel, US Senate – Committee on the Environment / President, Stanford Environment Law Society / Director, Conference of Western Attorneys General, 1984-85 / President’s Environmental Merit Award, 1972.
1987 Return to Top
Athletic Director, University of Michigan / United States Track and Field Hall of Fame.
Chief, Clinical Laboratories, Atomic Bomb / Casualty Commission, Hiroshima, Japan / International Who’s Who of Contemporary Achievement / Science Award, United States National Academy of Science
Curator, Department of Botany, Smithsonian Institute / Fellow of the Linnean Society (FLS), London / Honorary Associate, Botanical Society of Brazil
1986 Return to Top
Harry John Brown
Distinguished Professor, SUNY, Fredonia, New York / Founder, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra / Founder, Chautauqua Civic Orchestra, New York
Robert L. Kroc
President, Kroc Foundation / Director of Physiology, Warner-Lambert Pharmaceutical Research Institute /Humanitarian Award, Juvenile Diabetes / Found International, 1984
Professor Emeritus, Library Science, University of Illinois / Former President, Illinois Library Association / Rockefeller Grant, University of Keio, Tokyo, Japan
CBS News Correspondent / Peabody Award, 1977 / Emmy Award, 1971, 1974
1985 Return to Top
Edith Heal Berrien
Author, Professor, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Chairman and CEO, Dean Foods Corporation / Director, Centel Corporation / Director, Milk Industry Foundation.
Faith Jefferson Jones
Dean of Women, Hampton Institute / Director, Parkway Community House.
Professor, Physical Anthropology, Graduate School of Medicine,University of Pennsylvania / Director, Philadelphia Center for Research in Child Growth.
1984 Return to Top
Thomas F. Barnum
Chairman and Division Executive, Citicorp Services / Senior Advisor on Internatal Trade to the United States Secretary of Commerce.
Entertainment Editor, Chicago Tribune
Guggenheim Fellowship / One-man Show, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1963
/ First Prize – Fiction, American Film Festival.
Prentice H. Marshall
Judge, United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois.
1983 Return to Top
Founder, Batten, Barton, Dustine & Osborne, Inc (One of the largest and Award winning (CLIO) Advertising agencies in the world. United States Congressman, 1937-1941 (Representing Manhatten district , New York).
May Estelle Cook
A Founder of the 19th Century Woman’s Club / Author, "Little Old Oak Park".
Frederick J. Doyle
1st Chairman, Department of Geodetic Science, Ohio State University, 1959 / NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, 1971. President of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (1980-1984)
Walter Burley Griffin
1ST member of Chicago School of Architecture to be awarded a foreign commission for the plan of new Australian capital, Canberra.
Nobel Prize, Literature 1954, Pulitzer Prize, Fiction 1953.
Founder, Chicago Heart Association /Founder, Chicago Society of Internal Medicine.
Founder, McDonald’s Corporation
John La Montaine
Pulitzer Prize, Music 1959
Emmy Award Winner, Directors of American Award. Bette Davis called him, "The finest director in television,"