Distinguished Alumni Awards welcome back successful graduates


It’s not everyday that students have the opportunity to learn from an Evanston track coach, a self-made CEO, a Civil Right’s activist, a deputy CFO for NASA, and a Marine who served in Iraq. On December 7, the Distinguished Alumni Awards will do just that.

“The Distinguished Alumni Awards were created 14 years ago to recognize the accomplishments of ETHS graduates and inspire current students,” explained David Futransky, Coordinator of the Alumni Association.

But isn’t enough to be successful. The six alumni recognized this year have also made substantial contributions to their communities. “Not only have they been successful in their career, they’ve given back,” added Futransky.

Seniors will hear from the alumni at an assembly during periods two and three. First up on the stage will be student hosts, who will introduce each alumni and explain why they are receiving the award. Each alumni will then be given time to share their story.

“I’m looking forward to it,” commented student host Zane Tolchinsky. “ It will be very cool, especially for the seniors, to hear from multiple people of different backgrounds who have achieved such notable accomplishments in their fields.”

After the assembly and tour of the school the alumni will visit classrooms to answer more individual career-related questions. Students have the opportunity to ask questions like, “In college, what classes should I take to get to where you’re at?” commented student host Dayanara Delgado.

New this year is the diversity of of distinguished alumni. “We’re making a conscious effort to include more women and people of color,” said Futransky. For the first time three out of the six alumni are female and three are people of color.

“Seeing women and people of color who had challenges and still were able to make it is really incredible and definitely an inspiration,” commented student host Ryan Foreman.

The day will culminate in an invitation-only dinner at the Terrace, an opportunity for the alumni to give unabridged versions of their speeches to families and community members. For students interested in viewing the assembly, a video of the assembly, complete with an interview, will be available soon after the event on the ETHS website.

For everyone involved, the Distinguished Alumni Awards are a reminder of the resources and opportunities ETHS provides. “It’s a morale booster,” said Foreman.