Nine graduates to join Alumni Hall of Honor

’08 grad Wamariya among graduates to be recognized

On Mar. 14, the New Trier Alumni Achievement awards will be held, inducting nine graduates into the Alumni Hall of Honor.

The following are this years alumni award recipients:

Dr. Allan Conney
Class of 1948
Conney (1930-2013) was recognized as a pioneer of cancer prevention and one of the leading pharmacologists of his generation. During his career, he received many awards and honors for his contributions, including election as President of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and election to the National Academy of Sciences. Conney’s research focused on everyday acts and products tied to increased risk of cancer as well as cancer prevention through, for example, exercise or use of caffeine.

Sheila Hicks
Class of 1952
Hicks is an award-winning American artist, listed by the French newspaper Le Figaro as one of the 20 cultural figures who would “make Paris in 2018.” She received a Fulbright scholarship in 1957-58 to paint in Chile, where she developed her interest in working with fibers. Her monumental works are in the collections of museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and many more.

Judge Roy McLeese
Class of 1977
McLeese has served as an Associate Judge for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the highest Appellate Court in D.C., since 2012. His previous positions include Chief of the Appellate Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and Acting Deputy Solicitor General of the United States. He is a recipient of the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award and the John Marshall Award for Outstanding Legal Achievement for Handling of Appeals.

Sen. Charles Percy
Class of 1937
Percy (1919-2011) began his career in business, where he was named President of Bell and Howell company at age 29, becoming the youngest chief executive of a major corporation at the time. He ran for a U.S. Senate seat at age 46 and won as a moderate Republican, rising to become Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and serving three terms. He led the Senate to appoint an independent prosecutor during the Watergate scandal, and after serving, he worked as a consultant in exporting.

Dr. Alan Robin
Class of 1966
Robin’s work has been instrumental in developing self-sustaining eye care, an increased awareness of glaucoma, and fostering research and clinical ties that have bettered patients in both India and the developing world. He has been instrumental in developing and establishing the glaucoma service at the Aravind Eye Hospital in southern India, the busiest eye hospital in the world. Robin is also a founding member of the American Glaucoma Society and the Indian Glaucoma Society.

Fred Schmidt
Class of 1961
Schmidt won two Olympic swimming medals and multiple NCAA and national AAU championships. After enrolling in the U.S. Navy Special Warfare and Basic Underwater Demolitions/SEAL training, he served two tours of duty with the Navy stationed in the Western Pacific and was named Swim Team Leader and Officer in Charge for the Apollo 14 and 15 recovery missions. Following his time in the military, his real estate and law career focused on community development and community improvement projects.

David Sellers
Class of 1956
Sellers pioneered the “design-build” concept in architecture and is known for his improvisational, sustainable buildings. He partnered with Dr. Patch Adams to build medical clinics, hospitals and eco villages in El Salvador, Peru, Haiti, Mexico, Senegal and the Amazon. Sellers has won numerous awards from The American Institute of Architects and has been named one of the top 100 architects in the world by Architectural Digest. He was inducted into the College of Fellows of the AIA in 2017.

Scott Smith
Class of 1968
Smith served as President and Publisher of the Chicago Tribune. Publishing until his retirement in 2008. He is currently chairman of National Louis University, where he worked to make college affordable for low-income and first-generation students. He was the founding chairman of The Chicago Public Education Fund and serves on the boards of the McCormick Foundation, Mather Lifeways, Northwestern Memorial Foundation, Chicago Humanities Festival, and Kellogg School of Management.

Young Alumnus Award: Clemantine Wamariya
Class of 2008
Wamariya, a human rights advocate, at six years old was separated from her family during the Rwandan genocide and forced to flee with her sister. They were granted asylum in 2000 and moved to Chicago. During her senior year at New Trier, Wamariya was selected as one of Oprah Winfrey’s essay contest winners and was reunited with her parents on Winfrey’s show. In 2011, she became the youngest member of the board of the Holocaust Memorial Museum. She recently published a memoir, “The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After.”