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).
- 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 St. ('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.
- Ali Kindle Hogan ('93)
- Jasmine Huda ('91)
- Daniel N. Kantrovitz ('91)
- Carolyn Kindle ('89)
- Richard V.E. Lovelace ('54)
- William H. Macon III ('04)
- Laura Dierberg Padousis ('87)
- Colette Robbins ('93)
An award-winning television journalist and anchor, Jasmine Huda has found her home at KTVI-TV Fox 2 in St. Louis. As a reporter, she is known for being able to truly connect with the people she interviews. As an anchor, she delivers the news in an engaging style, giving each story its own voice. Her warm personality and compassion shine through as she respects and honors each and every story. Since moving to Fox 2, Jasmine has been named “Best Newscaster” by St. Louis Magazine, Best On-Air Female Personality by ALIVE Magazine, and “40 under 40” by The St. Louis Business Journal. She has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes.com, The 9s Men’s Magazine, “Who’s Who In Diversity,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ladue News, and Uptown Magazine. Her outstanding achievements in broadcast and digital journalism have also been recognized with a National Edward R. Murrow award, a regional Murrow award, a Mid-America Emmy and several Emmy nominations. Outside of her work in media, Jasmine supports various organizations and causes, including the American Heart Association and their Go Red for Women program, BackStoppers and the Guns ‘N Hoses fundraiser, the National Council of Jewish Women’s Back to School Store, and the VP Community Service Initiative Fashion Show.
As Vice President, Scouting for the Chicago Cubs, Dan is responsible for leading the amateur draft, and assists in all areas of baseball operations including trade negotiations, analytics, systems architecture, free agent valuation, player development and major league advanced scouting. Following his stellar college career, Dan was drafted in the 25th round by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2001 MLB draft. When a shoulder injury ended his career on the field, it truly launched his future working behind the scenes in Major League Baseball. In 2004 he was hired by his beloved hometown team, the St. Louis Cardinals as an assistant in their scouting department. After just four years he became the Assistant Scouting Director and the Director of College Scouting, a position he held from 2004-2008 before leaving to pursue his master’s degree in statistics from Harvard. In 2009, Dan was hired by the Oakland Athletics as the Director of International Scouting. During his time in Oakland, he aided analytical projects and Dan and his team created an international scouting operation that covered practically every corner of the world where there was competitive baseball. During Dan’s time with the St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland A’s, the ball clubs celebrated some terrific successes. In addition to work accomplishments, Dan was inducted into the Brown University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016. Dan is the epitome of “if you love what you do, you will never work another day in your life.”
Carolyn is the first female President and CEO of an MLS Club, St. Louis CITY SC. Having led the ownership group throughout the bid process and following the expansion team being awarded in August 2019, she officially assumed the top role at STL CITY on August 20, 2019. As President and CEO, Carolyn oversees all operational and business aspects of St. Louis’ new MLS team, including the construction of its stadium district, North America’s largest urban sports campus, which includes the team’s stadium, training facility and pitches, corporate headquarters, and development academy. In addition to leading STL CITY, Carolyn maintains her current role as President of Enterprise Holdings Foundation, the charitable arm of Enterprise Holdings Inc. Since its inception, the Foundation has contributed more than $520 million to thousands of registered nonprofit efforts, focused on community improvement, education and environmental stewardship. In her role, she develops and implements the Foundation’s long-term philanthropic strategies and objectives for the future. She also serves on the Crawford Group Board of Directors.
While Richard Van Evera Lovelace, a prominent American astrophysicist and plasma physicist, is best known for his discovery of of the period of the pulsar in the Crab Nebula, he is also credited for developing a magnetic model of jets from galaxies, and for developing a model of Rossby waves in accretion disks. Always interested in space exploration, and showing a strong talent for math and physics, Richard graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science in physics. He received a National Science Foundation fellowship and earned his PhD in physics from Cornell University in 1970. He began his career as a research associate in the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and the Cornell University Laboratory of Plasma Studies. In 1972 Richard began teaching at Cornell as an assistant professor, and took the helm of full professorship in 1984. Richard continues to play a huge role in the advancement of Astrophysics and Astronomy. In 1991, he organized the US-Russia Collaboration in Plasma Astrophysics which obtained many pioneering results in modeling of plasma accretion and outflows from magnetized rotating stars. In 2000, he initiated the US-Kazakhstan Astrophysics Collaboration, which greatly helped scientists of Kazakhstan. Richard became a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2000, where he served as divisional associate editor for Physical Review Letters for Plasma Physics and associate editor of Physics of Plasmas. In 2010, he became an editorial board member of the Journal of Computational Astrophysics and Cosmology. He has served as a member of the James Clerk Maxwell Prize for Plasma Physics committee of the American Physical Society and as a member of the Advisory board of the Guggenheim Fellowship Foundation.
As State Director, Best Buddies Tennessee, Will is responsible for implementing a Best Buddies statewide strategic plan focused on fiscal sustainability, growth, programmatic delivery, and operations. Identifying innovative and unique opportunities to collaborate with corporate partners and individuals more strategically, Will’s efforts have resulted in record-high dollars and engagement. Living his life in service to others and leading with a compassionate heart, Will truly epitomizes the very best traits of a Rossman student and alumnus. Will has dedicated the past decade of his life to raise awareness and funds for the “world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.” Will and his buddy Bryan, who has down syndrome, have been best buddies – and truly best friends – since September 2010. They have given countless speeches about the transformative power of friendship and acceptance and have traveled throughout the country to help start the Best Buddies Challenge. In 2018 Will was honored at Mungenast Lexus of St. Louis as the 2018 Best Buddies Missouri Champion of the Year. Will and Bryan were featured in Best Buddies 25th Anniversary book as one of 25 “star” buddy pairs.
As Executive Vice President of Dierbergs Markets, one of the longest standing family-run grocery-store chains and largest employers in the St. Louis metro area, Laura’s commitment to the family business and the St. Louis community is immense. She continues to grow the Dierbergs’ Store and Shopping Center Portfolio through new development, pursues innovative and unique connections with customers through creative marketing strategies, establishes and promotes a diverse environment where everyone feels they belong, engages with the community, and oversees charitable giving in the communities Dierbergs serves. As an executive of Dierbergs Markets, Laura ensures that community outreach is a company priority and supports local charities, including Operation Food Search, The American Heart Association, Stray Rescue, and COCA. A dedicated alumna, Laura has never wavered in her support of Rossman School. Although her children have graduated, Laura remains engaged as a member of the Rossman School Advisory Board. She served on the Rossman Board of Trustees from 2008-2016, and as President of the Board of Trustees from 2014-2016. Throughout her tenure on the Board, and as a Rossman parent, she supported all areas of Rossman, serving on the Marketing, Strategic Planning, and Major Endowment Committees, along with supporting a variety of alumni and parent events and programs.
Colette Robbins is a hybrid digital-analog sculptor, educator, and curator. A renowned artist in her field, Colette expertly creates tangible art, transforms it to a digital platform, manipulates it through a digital process, then sculpts the final piece. Her sculptures include motifs of abstracted and remixed ancient symbols, archaic smiles, augmented Greco-Roman heads, and detailed rocky textures. Her unique and complex themes have garnered worldwide attention. Colette has received numerous awards for her work as well as been honored with outstanding residencies for her incredible talent, including; Austevollportalen, Marstein Island, Norway, Makerbot Hackathon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cill Rialaig Project, Ireland, The Vermont Studio Center, Ken Tisa’s Center For Art and Culture, AIX En Provence, and the Maryland Institute College of Art. In addition to her residencies, she is sought after to participate in solo, two-person and group exhibitions across the globe including; France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, California, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, New York, and Texas. She has been cited, written and interviewed in over thirty-five print and online publications. When she is not creating her own works of art, Colette is a Graduate Thesis Advisor for the School of Visual Arts, and Adjunct Professor at the Pratt Institute, School of Art and New York Academy of Art.