New Trier High School names nine alumni as 2019 Alumni Achievement Award recipients

Alumni Achievement Awad

Nine distinguished New Trier High School alumni, including a Young Alumnus Award recipient, will receive the school's Alumni Achievement Award this March, joining 52 of their peers in the Alumni Hall of Honor. The honorees are:

  • Dr. Allan Conney, Class of 1948. Conney (1930-2013) was recognized as a pioneer of cancer prevention and one of the leading pharmacologists of his generation. During his career, he received many awards and honors for his contributions, including election as President of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and election to the National Academy of Sciences. Conney's research focused on everyday acts and products tied to increased risk of cancer as well as cancer prevention through, for example, exercise or use of caffeine.
  • Sheila Hicks, Class of 1952. Hicks is an award-winning American artist, listed by the French newspaper Le Figaro as one of the 20 cultural figures who would "make Paris in 2018." She received a Fulbright scholarship in 1957-58 to paint in Chile, where she developed her interest in working with fibers. Her monumental works are in the collections of museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and many more.
  • Judge Roy McLeese, Class of 1977. McLeese has served as an Associate Judge for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the highest Appellate Court in D.C., since 2012. His previous positions include Chief of the Appellate Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and Acting Deputy Solicitor General of the United States. He is a recipient of the Attorney General's Distinguished Service Award and the John Marshall Award for Outstanding Legal Achievement for Handling of Appeals.
  • Sen. Charles Percy, Class of 1937. Percy (1919-2011) began his career in business, where he was named President of Bell and Howell company at age 29, becoming the youngest chief executive of a major corporation at the time. He ran for a U.S. Senate seat at age 46 and won as a moderate Republican, rising to become Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and serving three terms. He led the Senate to appoint an independent prosecutor during the Watergate scandal, and after serving, he worked as a consultant in exporting.
  • Dr. Alan Robin, Class of 1966. Robin's work has been instrumental in developing self-sustaining eye care, an increased awareness of glaucoma, and fostering research and clinical ties that have bettered patients in both India and the developing world. He has been instrumental in developing and establishing the glaucoma service at the Aravind Eye Hospital in southern India, the busiest eye hospital in the world. Robin is also a founding member of the American Glaucoma Society and the Indian Glaucoma Society.
  • Fred Schmidt, Class of 1961. Schmidt won two Olympic swimming medals and multiple NCAA and national AAU championships. After enrolling in the U.S. Navy Special Warfare and Basic Underwater Demolitions/SEAL training, he served two tours of duty with the Navy stationed in the Western Pacific and was named Swim Team Leader and Officer in Charge for the Apollo 14 and 15 recovery missions. Following his time in the military, his real estate and law career focused on community development and community improvement projects.
  • David Sellers, Class of 1956. Sellers pioneered the "design-build" concept in architecture and is known for his improvisational, sustainable buildings. He partnered with Dr. Patch Adams to build medical clinics, hospitals and eco villages in El Salvador, Peru, Haiti, Mexico, Senegal and the Amazon. Sellers has won numerous awards from The American Institute of Architects and has been named one of the Top 100 architects in the world by Architectural Digest. He was inducted into the College of Fellows of the AIA in 2017.
  • Scott Smith, Class of 1968. Smith served as President and Publisher of the Chicago Tribune as well as president of Tribune Publishing until his retirement in 2008. He is currently chairman of National Louis University, where he was worked to make college affordable for low-income and first-generation students. He was the founding chairman of The Chicago Public Education Fund and serves on the boards of the McCormick Foundation, Mather Lifeways, Northwestern Memorial Foundation, Chicago Humanities Festival and Kellogg School of Management.

Young Alumnus Award:

  • Clemantine Wamariya, Class of 2008 . Wamariya is a human rights advocate who at 6 years old was separated from her family during the Rwandan genocide and forced to flee with her 16-year-old sister. They were granted asylum in 2000 and moved to Chicago. During her senior year at New Trier, Wamariya was selected as one of Oprah Winfrey's essay contest winners and was reunited with her parents on Winfrey's show. In 2011, she became the youngest member of the board of the Holocaust Memorial Museum. She recently published a memoir, "The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After."

The Alumni Hall of Honor Class of 2019 will receive their Alumni Achievement Awards at a dinner hosted by the New Trier Educational Foundation beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 14 at the Hilton Orrington Hotel in Evanston. All proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Foundation, which supports exceptional educational opportunities for New Trier students. Tickets and sponsorships will be available for purchase this fall on the Educational Foundation's website, http://newtrierfoundation.org/ .

Since New Trier's Alumni Achievement Awards began in 2011, 52 recipients have joined the Alumni Hall of Honor for exemplifying the school's motto: "To commit minds to inquiry, hearts to compassion, and lives to the service of humanity." The majority of honorees also have returned to New Trier to share their experiences in discussions with current students during the week of the awards dinner.

A Selection Committee made of alumni, New Trier staff, a student and representatives of the New Trier Educational Foundation met several times this spring to choose the 2019 honorees from a large field of nominations.