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Smith: Eight “Dukes of Distinction” to be honored

In the fall of 2012, Elmhurst School District 205 launched a York Distinguished Alumni Program (YDAP) in collaboration with York Community High School and the District 205 Foundation. This program is designed to recognize and honor those alumni who have distinguished themselves through significant and extraordinary accomplishments, service and/or an outstanding contribution to society.

The YDAP Committee recently announced the selection of its inaugural class of “Dukes of Distinction” who will be honored on Thursday, Nov. 7, in the York High School Commons.

That evening, eight alumni spanning four decades will be recognized at a celebratory reception beginning at 6 p.m., followed by a recognition program during which these honorees will speak. The event is free and open to the public (no ticket necessary). The following day, Nov. 8, they will present to and interact with York High School students in both large- and small-group settings.

The inaugural Dukes of Distinction are:

• Dr. John Baumrucker, Class of 1962 – medical doctor who served 15 years in Bolivia.

• Ron Guenther, Class of 1963 – retired University of Illinois Athletic and Major Gifts Director.

• John Hagstrom, Class of 1983 – trumpet player with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

• Dr. Peter Holbrook, Class of 1962 – medical doctor who created a new specialty (Intensivist).

• Dr. Claudia Lucchinetti, Class of 1982 – medical doctor, clinician, researcher, authority on multiple sclerosis.

• Ken Paulson, Class of 1972 – USA Today co-founder and editor; president of the First Amendment Center

• Dr. Charles Tilly, Class of 1946 – internationally esteemed sociologist, prolific writer/lecturer.

• Dr. Sidney Wolf, Class of 1958 – accomplished astronomer and expert on A-type stars.

The window is now open for 2014 York Distinguished Alumni nominations. Submit online at (no self-nominations).

Melea Smith is the District 205 director of communications

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