Revealing Alumni of Distinction

SPC Insider Report 2013/2014

After almost a year-long process that garnered over 400 nominations, a committee of alumni, faculty, and students is in the final stage of selecting Chicago-Kent’s 125 Alumni of Distinction. Those selected will represent the most innovative, impactful, and successful minds to emerge from Chicago-Kent—a hall of fame meant to incite alumni pride, inform external audiences, and show prospective students what possibilities exist for them.

The 125 Alumni of Distinction will represent a cross-section of the industries in which Chicago-Kent alumni thrive. 

They also hail from less-thought-of areas in which Chicago-Kent grads have ascended to the top, including healthcare, higher education, and entertainment:

Mark Frey ’89 is President and CEO of Alexian Brothers Health System. He was appointed in 2011 after working there for over 25 years. Under Frey, the hospital system pioneered cross-disciplinary alliances with neurologists and neurosurgeons to provide innovative treatments for Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Gerald “Jerry” Bepko ’65 is Chancellor Emeritus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and a professor at IUPUI’s law school. His greatest accomplishments as Chancellor, a position he held from 1986-2002, include consolidating the IUPUI campus, overseeing construction of 20 new buildings, and establishing a biomedical engineering program.


Marc Korman ’89 is a partner in the television department at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment. After practicing law for 7 years, including as a Cook County Public Defender, he moved to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment business. His roster of clients includes creators and Executive Producers of shows Glee, CSI, and Lost

The list includes alumni who have shaped the world we live in by influencing trailblazing policy and legislation:

Patricia Whitten ’74 is a partner at Franczek Radelet P.C. specializing in education law. She served as General Counsel for the Chicago Board of Education for more than 11 years, playing a significant role in developing the procedures adopted by most Illinois school districts to comply with reformed special education legislation.

Hon. Bernard Wolfe ’37 served as a judge for the Cook County Circuit Court from 1974-1984, and as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives for 10 years. His major achievements as a legislator include leading a successful initiative to reform laws pertaining to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). 

Dr. Rowine Hayes Brown Truitt ‘61 was the first woman to serve as Medical Director and Administrator of Cook County Hospital, one of the largest public hospitals in the United States. She earned her law degree in her late 40s so she could better advocate for victims of child abuse. She helped draft the state of Illinois' first legislation on child abuse. 

And alumni who selected Chicago-Kent later in life, after they had already experienced great success:

Grover Hermann ’62 was almost 50 and Chairman of Martin-Marietta when he started at Chicago-Kent. He had grown a paint manufacturing company that he started at age 23 into a diversified corporation with over $350 million in revenue. Martin-Marietta later merged with Lockheed Corporation to form today’s Lockheed Martin. IIT's Mies Van Der Rohe-designed Hermann Hall is named for the former IIT Trustee.

Bernard “Barney” Tresnowski ’98 attended Chicago-Kent soon after retiring as President and CEO of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, a position he had held for 13 years. After law school he worked for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago as a full-time pro bono attorney.

Joel Daly ’88 had been an anchor for Chicago’s ABC affiliate for 16 years before starting at Chicago-Kent. Of his legal education, Daly states, “All of the good stuff I learned as a law student came into almost daily use as a journalist.” Daly pioneered the most-copied news format in the country, earning him 5 Emmys and the first-ever Illinois Broadcast Pioneer Award in 2008.  

The Chicago-Kent team is now working to grow alumni’s “on paper” biographies into richer, more inspiring narratives that include personal insights from the selected alumni themselves. Those who’ve been selected are in the process of being notified and interviewed, and the full list will be announced beginning in late September. The 125 Alumni of Distinction and their families will be honored at a dinner on Thursday, November 21.

Thank you to the 125 Alumni of Distinction Selection Committee:


Bartram S. Brown, Professor and Co-Director of International and Comparative Law Program 
Sarah K. Harding, Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty
Ronald W. Staudt, Professor and Director of the Center for Access to Justice & Technology
Lew Collens, IIT President Emeritus, Chicago-Kent Dean, 1974-1990, and Professor of Law Emeritus


Penny Brown ‘79
Nicholas McIntyre ‘11


Sasha Kakabadse ‘14
Monica Long ‘14


Tom Gaylord, Research Librarian
Nicole Vilches, Assistant Dean for Admissions

August 27, 2013