WINNETKA – Eleven distinguished New Trier High School alumni, including a new Young Alumnus Award recipient, will receive the school’s Alumni Achievement Award this March, joining 41 of their peers in the Alumni Hall of Honor. The honorees are:
- Hall “Cap” Adams Jr., Class of 1950. Adams worked for Leo Burnett and became CEO in 1986, presiding over the agency’s largest period of growth. In 2002, he was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame. Now retired, Adams supports Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired. He was also honored for outstanding support of Wheeler’s Hands & Hearts mission and received a lifetime achievement award from Off the Street Club.
- Ann Compton, Class of 1965. Compton is the former White House correspondent for ABC News. She was the first female broadcaster assigned to the White House full-time and covered seven presidencies and numerous major news events across the globe before her retirement. She was inducted into the Journalism Hall of Fame by the Society of Professional Journalists (2000) and the National Radio Hall of Fame (2005).
- Chris Cox, Class of 2000. Cox is the Chief Product Officer at Facebook and Chief of Staff to Mark Zuckerberg on product development. He was part of the team responsible for developing the first versions of the News Feed and is now in charge of the News Feed team. His promotion to CPO (2014) puts Cox in the highest management ranks at Facebook, and he is part of the team that defines the direction of the company.
- William Hohengarten, Class of 1978. Hohengarten, a scholar and lawyer, helped fashion the arguments that persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 to strike down Texas’ sodomy laws, helping set the stage for the courts’ ruling on gay marriage in 2015. He was honored with the Pro Bono Award from Jenner and Block and has succeeded in a variety of high-profile legal cases.
- Walter McDougall, Class of 1964. McDougall is an award-winning historian who received the Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for his book on state-supported rocketry, climaxing with the Apollo mission. McDougall is currently a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the Alloy-Ansin professor of International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Peter McNitt, Class of 1972. McNitt is Vice Chairman of BMO Harris Bank, focusing on wealth, commercial and investment banking capabilities. He previously led U.S. Corporate Banking, U.S. Investment Banking and Business Banking at BMO Harris. McNitt also has served on numerous local boards and organizations including as Chairman of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago Board of Managers.
- Mark Olsky, Class of 1962. Olsky – who was born on a train en route to a concentration camp during World War II – is a pioneer in emergency medicine who initiated and ran a residency in emergency medicine that eventually became the flagship of the University of Illinois’ Emergency Medicine Program. Olsky is a longtime faculty member at the University of Wisconsin and continues to practice in Wisconsin.
- Liz Phair, Class of 1985. Phair is a professional rock singer whose 1993 debut studio album “Exile in Guyville” was ranked by Rolling Stone as one of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” Phair has sold nearly three million records worldwide. She is a two-time Grammy Award nominee for Best Female Vocal Performance (1995, 1996), BMI Pop Awards Winner (2005) and ASCAP Top Television Composer (2009, 2014).
- Matthew Polenzani, Class of 1986. Polenzani is an American lyric tenor whose long list of appearances include the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera and San Francisco Opera, among others. He is the recipient of the Richard Tucker Award (2004) and Metropolitan Opera’s Beverly Sills Artist Award (2008).
- Cliff Sloan, Class of 1975. Sloan is a top litigator who served in several high-ranking roles for the federal government, most recently as special envoy for the Guantanamo closure. Sloan rejoined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in 2015 and is a partner in the litigation group. The former publisher of Slate Magazine, Sloan is co-author of “The Great Decision,” a book about the historic Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison.
Young Alumnus Award:
- Shawn Robinson, Class of 1996. Robinson is a researcher in the field of dyslexia, particularly in how it affects disadvantaged black men. As a dyslexic himself, Robinson’s determination helped him overcome obstacles and led him to a doctoral degree and invitations to present his work to numerous groups, including a White House task force. The young alumnus award is new this year for extraordinary graduates younger than 40 years old who illustrate great potential in their fields.
Class of 2017 will receive their Alumni Achievement Awards at a dinner hosted by the New Trier Educational Foundation at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 16, at the Hilton Orrington Hotel in Evanston. Tickets and sponsorships will be available for purchase this fall.
Since New Trier’s Alumni Achievement Awards began in 2011, 41 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 current student and representatives of the New Trier Educational Foundation met several times in the late summer and fall to choose the 2016 honorees from a large field of nominations. For more information, visit www.newtrieralumni.org.
Submitted by New Trier Township High School