The Rossman School Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes men and women, living or deceased, who, by outstanding achievement, exemplify the values taught by Rossman School — leadership, citizenship, creativity, humanity and love of learning. This award, presented every five years, is the highest honor bestowed to our alumni. The first Distinguished Alumni Awards were presented in 1993, coinciding with the school’s 75th anniversary celebration. Forty alumni have received the award to date. Learn more about the recipients below (* indicates deceased).
Join us November 17th, 2022 as we honor our newest Distinguished Alumni! The event will be held at Rossman in the Pratt Performing Arts Center.
- Camilla (Kimmy) Thomson Brauer ('58)
- Leo A. Drey ('28)*
- Senator Thomas F. Eagleton ('40)*
- W. Ashley Gray, Jr. ('29)*
- Kevin D. Kline ('59)
- Michael M. McCarthy ('51)
- William R. Orthwein, Jr. ('28)*
- Lawrence K. Roos, Sr. ('30)*
- C. C. Johnson Spink ('29)*
A decorated war veteran, Ashley Gray was a noted leader in business and in the community. He guided his company, General Steel, to a position of prominence and headed monumentally successful fundraising campaigns for St. Louis charitable organizations. Among the organizations to benefit from Ashley’s leadership are Civic Progress, Railway Progress Institute, Missouri Pacific Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad, First National Bank and Centerre Bank, the United Way of Greater St. Louis, the Missouri Historical Society, the St. Louis chapter of the American Red Cross, St. Louis University, St. Louis Country Day School, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and Ranken Technical College.
An internationally popular stage and film actor, Kevin Kline has received numerous accolades, including two Tony awards, an Oscar and the first honorary doctorate ever presented by The Julliard School. At the time of Rossman’s 75th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni Awards, Kevin had recently been named director of the Joseph Papp Public Theatre in New York. Since then, he has been inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and recognized with a Drama Desk Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, St. Louis International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award and various other honors. He also was presented with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Humanitarian of the year award in 2004.
Business leader Mike McCarthy is a creator, a builder and a man of progressive vision. As president and chairman of the board, he led his company, McCarthy, to rank as the largest healthcare builder and one of the top construction management firms in America. Under Mike’s leadership, McCarthy also became a national leader in parking structure construction and implemented industry-leading techniques and concepts to become one of the nation’s safest builders. Shortly after Mike received Rossman’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the McCarthy Employee Stock Ownership Plan was established, and in 2002, Mike sold his majority ownership interest in the company to its employees, making McCarthy one of the nation’s oldest, 100 percent employee-owned construction firms.
While widely known for his astute leadership as president and chairman of McDonnell Douglas Automation Company, the service and philanthropy Bill Orthwein directed to area cultural and charitable organizations has had an almost legendary impact on the St. Louis community. He served on the Board of Directors for many organizations, including St. Luke’s Hospital, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Missouri Historical Society, the Saint Louis Zoo, the Saint Louis Science Center, and the Missouri Botanical Garden, enabling them to become extraordinary institutions. He treasured his days at Rossman School, saying they were “more meaningful in my life than any other educational experience.”
A politician, a businessman, a philanthropist, an educator and in the St. Louis region perhaps most widely known as a former St. Louis County Supervisor, Larry Roos played a significant role in creating and sustaining our community. Following two terms in the Missouri House of Representatives, Larry dedicated 12 years to St. Louis County. His administration brought many positive changes including improved infrastructure and police training and the addition of several county parks. Following his political career, Larry became executive vice-president and a director of First National Bank of St. Louis then president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. He also served the community in a variety of other capacities, including as the chairman of the East-West Gateway Coordinating Council and director of the Greater St. Louis United Fund.
Honored with Rossman’s Distinguished Alumni Award posthumously, Johnson Spink was recognized for his outstanding accomplishments as publisher of The Sporting News (TSN), and his leadership in the many civic organizations he chose to favor. Involved with TSN for nearly 50 years, Johnson was credited with saving “America’s Baseball Bible” by broadening its sports coverage and modernizing its design. Among the organizations Johnson served as a board member are The Muny, the Missouri Botanical Garden the Kammergild, the St. Louis Symphony, the St. Louis Art Museum and the Missouri Corporation for Science and Technology. He was a commissioner of the St. Louis Zoo and a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
- Rosalie ('35)* and Rumsey ('32)* Ewing
- Michael E. Pulitzer ('42)
- Oscar W. Rexford ('21)*
- John ('27)*, Robert ('28), and Sydney Shoenberg, Jr. ('24)*
Grandsons of the co-founder of May Department Stores, John, Robert and Sydney Shoenberg were devoted to continuing their family’s legacy of philanthropy and civic involment. On their own and through the Shoenberg Foundation, these men made a significant impact on many St. Louis area charitable organizations, including the Missouri Botanical Garden, Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Robert and Sydney co-owned Sydney M. Shoenberg & Co. a private investment company. Robert served on the board of directors for the Bank of America, the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation, the St. Louis Art Museum and the American Red Cross. Sydney held board positions for Jewish Hospital, the Botanical Garden, and the old Boatmen’s Trust Co. John, who passed away in 1974,
- Carole Lintzenich Buck ('51), Joseph Buck ('81) and Julie Buck Brooks ('84)
- Barbara Budke Cady ('41)* and Philip B. Cady ('38)*
- Thomas R. Collins, Jr. ('31)*
- James H. Howe III ('35)*
Jim Howe and Rossman School—The two names are quite synonymous. Not only did Jim attend Rossman, his children and grandchildren attended as well. Jim was involved with the school throughout each generation. He helped make the pivotal decision to move Rossman from the Delmar campus to the current location on Conway Road and then helped raise the funds to construct the school building. Howe served on the Board of Trustees for 11 years and even after that returned to Rossman many times to help keep the school growing and improving. Jim also served many community organizations such as the United Way Allocation Committee, Consolidated Neighborhood Services, Inc., the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association and the Missouri Historical Society.
- J. Andrew Benecke ('00)*
- Kenneth W. Brakebill ('81)
- Arthur L. Lueking, Sr. ('53)
- Edwin B. Meissner ('29)*
- Anita DeMarco Mothersbaugh ('75)
Edwin Meissner has balanced a life of business and philanthropy. He served as chief executive of the St. Louis Car Company and executive vice president of General Steel. He was also a founding real estate broker with the Hilliker Corporation. Edwin’s civic and philanthropic contributions are too numerous to list. A brief overview would include his 27 years as chairman of the City of Ladue Fire and Police Commission and his years of service as board chair for the Humane Society of Missouri. He is a trustee of the Bernoudy Foundation and has served on the Missouri Arts Council, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Executive Committee and as board member and past chair for the Central Institute for the Deaf.
Anita Mothersbaugh might have had something to do with one of your favorite films. An agent in Hollywood, Anita runs Greenspan Kohan Management. Her clients include composers, music editors, music supervisors and performers, including artists involved in the recent films “Daredevil,” “Suicide Squad” and “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” as well as the popular television shows “Supergirl,” “Fear the Walking Dead” and “Big Hero 6.” She also works closely with her husband, Emmy award-winning composer Mark Mothersbaugh, who might be best known as the lead singer and keyboard player for the band DEVO. Anita also founded Vanishing Creatures, a line of organic chocolates that raise awareness and money for endangered species, and Real Sound, a movie sound track recording company.
- Robin Ewing Engler ('60) & J. Curt Engler ('60)
- Richard W. Horner ('26)*
- Landon Y. Jones ('55)
- Jay P. Marshall ('58)
- Helen Rapp Nightingale ('04)
- Derek K. Rapp ('74)
Dr. Jay Marshall has both a distinguished heritage at Rossman and a lengthy record of service to the St. Louis community. His grandmother, Pauline Marshall, taught at Rossman for 30 years before succeeding Mary Rossman as headmistress for 16 years. Jay, a past Rossman Board member, and his wife, Sue, have continued the tradition Mrs. Marshall began of hosting graduating sixth graders for an outing at the Marshall farm. In 2012, Jay retired after a highly successful 40-year career in internal medicine with a subspecialty in gastroenterology, including over two decades directing the St. Luke’s Hospital Gastroenterology/Endoscopy Lab and a year as St. Luke’s staff president. A longtime clinical instructor at the Washington University Medical Center and St. Luke’s, over the years Jay has also served on the boards of St. Luke’s, Friends of the Zoo, and Friends of the Humane Society.
A passionate and determined young woman, Helen Rapp founded the Arch City Theater Troupe (ACTT) at just 13 years old in response to her brother being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Since then, the non-profit organization benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has raised more than $240,000 to help fight the disease. Throughout her secondary school years, Helen remained the driving force of ACTT, which produces an annual musical review for the St. Louis community using student performers, directors and choreographers. For her work, she was recognized as a “Do the Right Thing” award recipient by KMOV, a national finalist in Family Fun magazine, and a national semi-finalist in Build-a-Bear’s Huggable Heroes competition. A recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Helen has continued to support ACTT.
A consummate leader in both his business and personal life, Derek Rapp has positively impacted many aspects of the St. Louis community and beyond. Following a fruitful 12-year career at Monsanto, Derek spent 10 years as the chief executive officer of Divergence, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on discovering environmentally safe and effective methods to prevent and control pest infections. In 2004, Derek engaged in support of type 1 diabetes following his son’s diagnosis and, since 2014, has served as President and Chief Executive Officer for JDRF International, the world’s largest private funder of research in type 1 diabetes. In addition, he has served on the boards of John Burroughs School, the Monsanto Fund and the Saint Louis Community Foundation (both of which he served as Chairman), and the Executive Committee of the Missouri Biotechnology Association.
- Brain A. Bauer ('95)
- David P. Gast ('42)
- Douglas L. Wheeler ('49)
- Katharine Wells Wheeler ('51)
- Robert A. Wunderlich, Jr. ('78)
A devoted volunteer and prominent leader in the Durham, New Hampshire community for more than half a century, Katherine Wheeler served in the New Hampshire legislature for fourteen years — eight in the House of Representatives and six in the state Senate. She served on the Health and Human Services Committee her entire legislative career, and in the Senate, she served, consecutively, as Chair of the Insurance Committee and as Chair of the Senate Public Institutions/Health and Human Services Committee. Katie’s passion for public health also led her to co-found the New Hampshire Public Health Association (NHPHA), which aims to help strengthen the state’s public health system. In addition to health issues, Katie has worked throughout her life and political career for social, economic and environmental justice, help for low-income women and children, and support for education. She has been part of numerous organizations promoting these causes and was a founding member of the New Hampshire PBS Board of Governors.
From a young boy sketching airplanes and playing with toy soldiers to a Lt. Colonel and Command Pilot in the Air Force–Air National Guard with over 5,200 military flying hours, Robert Wunderlich’s lifelong desire to serve his country as a pilot has never wavered. Rob retired from the military in March of 2017 with 28 years of commissioned service. Throughout his career, he served in or alongside every branch of the military and represented the profession of arms to millions of spectators as a member of the 1997 and 1998 Navy Blue Angels teams. Since 1999, Rob also has served his family’s business, Wunderlich Fibre Box Manufacturing Company, as Vice President. Over the years, Rob has continued to educate the next generation of military aviators by speaking with groups of children and youth. Among these audiences have been hundreds of students of Rossman School.