Notable Alums


Dr. Robert Agrella ’61 – Past President Santa Rose Junior College (Calif.)
Dr. Agrella served as the superintendent/president at Santa Rose Junior College for more than 20 years. He holds a B.S. and M.S. from Purdue University and a doctorate in education from Nova Scotia East University. Prior to Santa Rose, he served five years as the supertendent/president of Cabrillo College in Aptos, Calif., and from 1978-1980 he acted in the same role at Mendocino College.



Sarah Bloom Raskin '79 - United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury. The Honorable Sarah Bloom Raskin was nominated by President Barack Obama to fill the position as second in command and the highest ranking female in the history of the Treasury Department.  She began her new position with the Treasury Department after receiving Senate confirmation in March 2014. Most recently served on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. She had previously been the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation.  Sarah's education includes a B.A. in Economics from Amherst College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Ben Bradley ’93 – ABC (Chicago) news co-anchor and reporter
He joined ABC 7 Chicago in 2002 and his work has been recognized with three Emmy Awards for breaking news. Ben is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and past president of the Chicago Headline Club, which is the largest chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.


Sophia Danenberg ’90 – first African-American woman to climb the summit of Mt. Everest
A well-known mountain climber, Sophia works in EHS Strategy of International Policy for Boeing. She received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University in environmental science and public policy and is pursuing an M.A. in economics from the University of Connecticut.

Borzou Daragahi ’87 – is a print and radio journalist and former Bagdhad bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times
He is both a 2005 and 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his coverage of Iraq and led the bureau that was named a 2007 Pulitzer finalist for its Iraq coverage. He currently covers the Middle East for the Financial Times.

Garrick Davis ’90 – is the legislative director of Economic and Financial Policy at the National Urban League Policy Institute.
Prior to joining the National Urban League in 2010, he served as a Presidential Appointee in the Obama White House and worked as a policy analyst in the Office of the Vice President. He holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a B.S. from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Professor Susan Deller Ross '60 — is currently director of the Law Center's International Women's Human Rights Clinic at Georgetown Univeristy. Before joining the Law Center faculty in 1983, she was Special Litigation Counsel to the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, and before that the Clinical Director of the ACLU's Women's Rights Project and an attorney with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Casey Driessen ’97 – is an American bluegrass fiddler and singer.
He plays acoustic and the electric five-string violin. On 2007, he was part of a recording which received a Grammy Award-nomination for Best Country Instrumental Performance. He is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston.


Retired Rear Admiral Patrick Driscoll ’73 – 34-year year Naval career concluded as the U.S. Pacific Fleet's Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff. Commanding Officer and Flight Leader of the Blue Angels (1999-2000). Recipient of the Distinguished Service Award and Distinguished Flying Cross.  His career also included serving in the field for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. A University of Illinois graduate, Rear Admiral Driscoll also holds a master's degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.

Stephen Eich ’77 – veteran theatre executive
He was managing director of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre from 1979 to 1995, when it rose to prominence as one of the America’s most accomplished stage companies. He later worked in the same role for the Geffen Theater in California and most recently at the Pasadena Playhouse.

John Ely ’04 – Right-handed pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization after he was brought up from the minors in 2010.  He now pitches in the minor league system.


Jack Fuller ’64 – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.
Jack spent 40 years in the newspaper business, beginning as a copyboy for the Chicago Tribune. He advanced in his career as a police reporter, war correspondent in Vietnam then a Washington, D.C. correspondent. Jack also worked as special assistant to the U.S. Attorney General Edward Levi during the administration of President Gerald Ford. In 1986, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his editorials on constitutional issues for the Tribune. From 1986 to 1997 he was editor then publisher of the Tribune and until 2005 he was president of the Tribune Publishing Co. 

Laurens Grant ’84 – Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker.
She recently produced the ground-breaking film, The Freedom Riders, which won three 2011 Emmys. She was the coordinating producer for American Experience’s The Murder of Emmett Till, which was honored with a Sundance Jury Award, Primetime Emmy and a Peabody Award for Best Documentary. Prior to her work in the film industry, she worked as a foreign correspondent heading up the Reuters bureau in Panama. Laurens is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.WesHamiltonJersey


Wes Hamilton ’71 – Minnesota Vikings (1976-1984) offensive lineman
Wes was originally drafted out of Tulsa University by the Vikings in the 3rd round of the 1976 draft. His son, Ben, also played professional football for the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. 


Wayne Higgins ’76 – is the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center, one of the National Weather Service’s nine national centers for environmental prediction which provices the U.S. with first alerts of weather, climate, ocean and space weather events. He received a bachelor degree from the University of Illinois and his master’s and doctorate’s degrees in meteorology in 1983 and 1987 from Pennsylvania State University. Wayne previously worked as a research meteorologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Timothy McCullum ’69 – Golden Apple recipient, as well as recipient of the Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence in Math and Science. Though recently retired after decades as a grade-school science teacher, Tim is currently a co-investigator and design team member for a new NASA educational program titled, “Expedition Earth and Beyond” (EEAB). The goal of EEAB is to encourage students to engage in authentic, scientific research.

Edward Monser ’68- has served as the chief operating officer (COO) of Emerson since 2001 and most recently added the position of president to his role. Emerson is a $24 Billion dollar multi-national global manufacturing company with a worldwide workforce of more than 125,000. He is a past board member and past vice chairman of the US-China Business Council. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from IIT in 1980 and a bachelor’s of education from Eastern Michigan.

Melanie Napolean Welsh ’91 – is the Network Coordinator and Advisor at Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions and previously worked as Director, Great Lakes Conservation at the John G. Shedd Aquarium. She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology from Bradley University and an advanced degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.


GeorgeNolfiGeorge Nolfi (George Lindhl) ’84 – American screenwriter/director/producer.
He directed the 2011 film, The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon. He has also written the screenplays for Ocean’s Twelve and co-wrote The Bourne Ultimatum, another Matt Damon vehicle. He graduated from Princeton University with a degree in public policy and later received a master’s degree from UCLA.

Nnedi Okoafor ’92 – Professor, Creative Writing, Chicago State University.
Ms. Okoafor is an award-winning writer of fantasy and speculative fiction. Her novels and stories reflect her West African life and her American life. Her most recent novel, Who Fears Death, won the 2011 World Fantasy Award. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Susan Page ’82 – United States Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan.
Ms. Page was appointed the first U.Spage. Ambassador’s to the world’s newest nation of South Sudan in October of 2011. Previously Ms. Page was the deputy assistant secretary for African Affairs at the U.S. State Department. Her long and distinguished career in diplomatic service includes heading up the Justice and Human Rights Unit of the United National Development Program in Rwanda. She received an A.B. in English with high distinction from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She also studied at St. Andrews University in Scotland and conducted research on children and women’s rights in Nepal through Rotary International.

Olayinka Sanni, '04 — is an American professional basketball player.
She most recently played the center/power forward position for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA. Olayinka was drafted 18th overall in the 2008 WNBA Draft by the Phoenix Shock.