On Friday, November 30, Oak Park and River Forest will present the 2012 Tradition of Excellence awards to the alumni below. Established by the class of 1982, the award is presented annually to alumni or former students who have distinguished themselves professionally and who, through their accomplishments, have brought great credit to their alma mater. These distinguished alumni are honored at a brunch following the awards presentation, held during back-to-back student assemblies during the school day.
Linda Brubaker, M.D., M.S.
Class of 1973
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 community member 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.
Class of 1996
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 flair for 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 hustling 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 totally won. Jeff is now the host of Food Network's Emmy-nominated “Sandwich King” and the primetime hit “$24 in 24.”
Diana Elizabeth Jordan
Class of 1981
Diana Elizabeth Jordan began her acting career in Chicago after graduating with a bachelors’ degree in theater and media arts from the University of Kansas. In 2001 she became the first actress with a disability receive an M.F.A. 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.