York High School finally has its first group of hall of famers—or as they are referred to in District 205, Dukes of Distinction.These York alumni, who have distinguished themselves through significant or extraordinary accomplishments, service and outstanding contributions to society, will be honored at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, at the York High School Commons.
Each honoree will speak about his or her connection to York High School and the influence York had on their future success. This event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.
This well-deserved group was culled from nominations submitted by Elmhurst community members, District 205 staff, alumni and others. Here is a little more about the eight Dukes of Distinction:
(All information courtesy of District 205)
Dr. John Baumrucker, Class of 1962
Dr. Baumrucker is a medical doctor who volunteered in Bolivia for 14 years, providing more than $1 million in medical equipment and supplies. He worked in prisons, and built schools, clinics and homes there, including a foster home for at-risk boys to which he donated $20,000 of his own money. The home currently cares for 21 boys, ages 8 to 18. He also participated in a program that gave medical students from three prominent universities experience working in a third world country.
Ron Guenther, Class of 1963
Ron Guenther is a recently retired athletic director for the University of Illinois. He helped increase endowments from $2 million to $40 million, and raised another $300 million for capital improvements at U of I. He also built a model program for producing outstanding student athletes.
John Hagstrom, Class of 1983
John Hagstrom is a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and has been extremely involved and supportive of music performance in Elmhurst. He makes regular trips to Elmhurst to work with York musicians and perform solos with high school musical groups during concerts. His professional path included five years of study at the Eastman School of Music, followed by six years in "The President's Own" United States Marine Band in Washington, D.C., where he spent three of those years as principal trumpet.
Dr. Peter Holbrook, Class of 1962
Dr. Holbrook is a pediatric critical care physician who developed procedures to treat critically ill older children, which proved so successful that there are now 1,800 Critical Care pediatricians (known as Internsivists). This has become the fourth largest pediatric sub-category. He also established the Division of Critical Care Medicine at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Claudia Lucchinetti, Class of 1982
Dr. Lucchinetti is a full time clinician, researcher and professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. She is recognized as an international leader in the field of central nervous system demyelinating disease research, with expertise in immunopathology, experimental neuropathology, neuroimmunology and clinical neurology.
Ken Paulson, Class of 1972
Ken Paulson is president and CEO of the First Amendment Center in Washington, D.C., as well as dean and professor at Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Mass Communication. Formerly the York Hi student newspaper editor, Paulson went on to be a founding editor of USA Today in 1982, and later served as editor-in-chief of the newspaper. He remains a columnist for USA Today, writing about First Amendment issues and the news media.
Dr. Charles Tilly, Class of 1946
Dr. Tilly was a a comparative and historical sociologist, analyst of social movements, and a social theorist, political sociologist and methodological innovator. Dr. Tilly authored 51 books and over 600 articles, as well as directing over 200 doctoral dissertations. He was a member of numerous scientific academies and a lecturer at universities all over the world. He was called “an intellectual global powerhouse,” whose contributions led to the development of seven subfields in sociology. Dr. Tilly died in 2008.
Dr. Sidney Carne Wolff, Class of 1958
Dr. Wolff has served as director of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (which has three national centers), author of two astronomy textbooks, founding editor of the Astronomy Educational Review and an authority on A-type stars. Dr. Carne Wolff was fundamental to establishment of large optical telescopes in the Andes to allow observation and mapping of the Southern Hemisphere sky.