New Trier alumni carry on the Trevian legacy

New class of alumni recognized in the Trevian Hall of Honor


Michelle Yurovsky, Opinions Editor

It’s has been said that all things in existence are only six degrees of separation from each other.

For Rainn Wilson, Christie Heffner, Donald Rumsfeld, and Rahm Emmanuel there seems to be no connection at all.

After all, how does Wilson, an Emmy award winning actor best known for his role as Dwight Schrute on the popular TV show “The Office” have any connection to a former  White House Chief of Staff and current mayor of Chicago Emmanuel?

How does CEO to the “Playboy”  empire  and  business woman Heffner connect to former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld? 

The answer is simple: all these accomplished names graduated the same high school: New Trier.

It seems unthinkable that a high school could boast such a wide range of distinguished alumni.

Despite disparate backgrounds, New Trier continues to inspire young thinkers and artists to follow their dreams. Some distinguished Trevian alumni include current CEO of Boeing James McNerney (class of 1967), dean of Harvard Law School Martha Minow (class of 1972), three time Pulitzer prize winner Archibald McLeish (attended), and Fallout Boy front man Pete Wentz (attended).

Within the past few years alone, New Trier has sent off musicians, actors, athletes and activists who are already making a name for themselves in the world.

All these household names that grew up in the district help give current Trevians a sense of identity and pride beyond these walls.

Alumni have become an inspiration for young aspiring students, offering guidance and a perspective on life similar to their own.

Senior Jack Klein said “it would be great to hear from Bruce Matthews [NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2007, attended New Trier]. Being a Hall of Fame offensive lineman, I feel like he would have great advice for up-and-coming college football players such as myself.”

New Trier’s alumni network has helped shape the image of New Trier.

“I think it’s  cool to know that even though New Trier gets some criticism, this school has a consistent track record of preparing students for the real world,” said junior Meg Riordan.

Today, the alumni network is stronger than ever before. Communication is maintained through the alumni community website.  There is also a connection between the school and its alumni through school events, donations, and a directory.

One way that alumni are giving back to the school directly is by visiting the school to speak to students about their experiences, in order to give students a look at life after high school.

Last month, two days were dedicated to accomplished alumni presentations in which speakers came to talk and offer advice to the students sitting in the seats they once did.

A  less direct way alumni give back is by providing a network of people throughout   the world that covers nearly every job field or profession.

Alumni from New Trier encounter success in the real world, but for those who go above and beyond, the alumni association has come up with a way to honor them through the Alumni Hall of Honor.

Those included in the 2017 Hall of Honor are: Hall “Cap” Adams, Jr. ‘50, Bill Hohengarten ’78, Ann Compton ‘65, Liz Phair ’85, Chris Cox ‘00, Mark Olsky ’62, Shawn Robinson ‘96, Peter McNitt ’72, Walter McDougall ‘64, Matthew Polenzani ’86, Cliff Sloan ‘75

Though not every New Trier graduate enters this Hall of Honor or become household names, these selected individuals help create a community in which every Trevian can feel a sense of honor and accomplishment.