Six alumni of Evanston Township High School received the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award at an induction ceremony on Jan. 26. Cleopatra Bugelas Alexander (Class of 1966), Henry Engelhardt (Class of 1975), David Epstein (Class of 1998), Willie J. Miller, Jr. (Class of 1971), Jack Rakove (Class of 1964) and Neal Wolin (Class of 1979) were honored during the recognition program sponsored by the ETHS District 202 Board of Education and the ETHS Alumni Association.
The Distinguished Alumni Award Selection Committee evaluates the nominations each year and selects the recipients. The committee is made up of students, current and former ETHS faculty and staff members, community members and alumni. The ETHS Distinguished Alumni Award program was established to recognize and honor the outstanding accomplishments of ETHS graduates and, by celebrating these role models, to inspire today’s students to follow their own pursuit of excellence. This year’s honorees shared advice and answered questions from the senior Class of 2015 before visiting ETHS classrooms throughout the day.
About the 2014-15 winners
Ms. Alexander is a leader in the not-for-profit community in the Chicago area, having served as executive director of the Albert Pick Jr. Fund as well as on the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of Mexican Art, the board of the ETHS Educational Foundation and the District 65 school board. Along with fundraising efforts that have benefitted ETHS, Ms. Alexander has helped broaden the discussion about the racial achievement gap. She has also led the Women’s Board of the Art Institute of Chicago where she was a major fundraiser. A graduate of Carleton College in Minnesota, Alexander is also the mother of two ETHS graduates, and the daughter of an alumna herself.
Mr. Engelhardt heads the Admiral Group in Wales, the largest auto insurer in Great Britain and one of the largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. Named one of the “Best UK Companies to Work For,” Admiral is the only company to make the list for its entire 14-year history and has reported higher profits in each of the last 10 years. Mr. Engelhardt and his wife founded the Moondance Foundation, which has been supporting causes such as children, education, poverty, health care and research, arts and humanities since 2010.
Mr. Epstein is a reporter, writer, and author of the bestseller “The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance.” A graduate of Columbia University in New York, he holds master’s degrees in journalism and environmental science from the school and has written for Sports Illustrated as well as many other publications. Mr. Epstein’s science writing is widely recognized and includes topics such as human genetic diversity and the causes and prevention of sudden cardiac arrest in athletes. He currently is on the advisory board of Classroom Champions, a nonprofit group that connects Olympians to inner city classrooms via technology for the purpose of digital mentoring.
Mr. Miller is an award-winning attorney who is the chief legal officer of Mondelez, the successor company to Kraft. He is an active community volunteer, having served three terms on the District 202 Board of Education and currently serving as president of FAAM, the Fellowship of Afro-American Men. He earned his B.S. degree at the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign and his J.D. from Loyola University. He has said that “ETHS laid out the foundation for all of my life’s decisions.” His wife and children are also ETHS alumni.
Mr. Rakove is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author/historian and educator at Stanford University in California. He has written many books on history and politics and has published numerous articles, receiving widespread recognition as a scholar and historian. He has also testified before Congress and has written briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court. Dr. Rakove received his undergraduate degree at Haverford College, his graduate degree at the University of Edinburgh, and earned his Ph.D. at
Mr. Wolin is the former U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and has served under both Presidents Obama and Clinton. Previously he was the Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel to the President for Economic Policy in the Obama administration. Mr. Wolin’s experience includes work as a law clerk in New York, as an attorney in Washington, D.C., and as general counsel for the Hartford Financial Services group. He earned his B.A. in history from Yale and his masters in Economics from Oxford. He also earned his J.D. from Yale Law School.