Illinois State University Media Relations

October 4, 2011

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U High honors seven with awards

University High School (U High) Homecoming weekend kicked off with the annual Awards Ceremony during an assembly on Sept. 30 honoring alumni and friends of the school.

Distinguished Alumni Award
Steve Omar Sample Sr. ’48

Photo of Steve Omar Sample Sr.Sample Sr., of Bellingham, Wash., will be the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award for his accomplishments as a jazz musician, performer, arranger and educator. He played and arranged music professionally with local and traveling road bands including the Larry Lonney, Leo Pieper and Ray Robbins bands, as well as the Freddy Schaeffer’s All-Girl Band. As a tenured professor at the University of Alabama, Sample authored a jazz theory textbook, An Approach to Mainstream Jazz and Pop Harmony. For his contributions to jazz education and performance, Sample was inducted to the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. He recently wrote new arrangements of the U High fight song and alma mater for the band and chorus.

Pioneer Hall of Fame
June Thomas Lavelle ’69

Photo of June Thomas LavelleLavelle of Slomczyn, Poland, will be inducted into the Pioneer Hall of Fame for her achievement and contribution to the area of micro-enterprise and business incubation. Lavelle served as the executive director of the Fulton-Carroll Center, a not-for-profit association of manufacturers located in Chicago’s west side neighborhoods. For her work, Inc. Magazine dubbed her “Mother of Invention,” and Ernst & Young honored her with the prestigious “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in 1992. She currently serves as president and chief consultant for Lavelle & Associates, Inc., where she leads donor-funded projects and private sector clients. She also assists groups in conflict-sensitive states around the world, in areas such as Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda, Kazakhstan and Kosovo. In Poland, she has served as chief of party for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Business Support Project.

William M. Hammitt ’59

Photo of William HammittHammitt of Normal will also be a 2011 inductee to the Pioneer Hall of Fame for his contribution and service to families and children in Central Illinois. Hammitt received his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University in business education and economics. For 44 years, Hammitt served at The Baby Fold, a local organization focused on improving the lives of children and families by providing adoption services, foster care, residential care, special education and family and community services. Hammitt also served on the Normal City Council and was active with the Normal Chamber of Commerce and the Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Hetzal Hartley ’73

Photo of Hetzal HartleyHartley of Roanoke, Va., is also a 2011 inductee to the Pioneer Hall of Fame for his contributions and achievements in the field of occupational medicine, as well as his service to our nation. Hartley, a retired commander of the U.S. Air Force, has more than 25 years of specialized experience in occupational and emergency medicine. He currently serves as the medical director of the Carilion Occupational Medicine Program in Roanoke. Hartley served as the commander of the 315th AMDS Clinic at Charleston Air Force Base, and logged more than 1,000 hours of flight time as a flight surgeon in the Persian Gulf War. For his service, he has received the Air Force Legion of Merit, Humanitarian Service Medal and Global War on Terror Service Medal.

Alumni Service
Ted Jordan ’69

Photo of Ted JordanJordan of Bloomington is being honored for his extensive service to his alma mater. Jordan has organized many of his class reunions, volunteered at homecomings and served in the Alumni Association. In addition to his service to U High, Jordan has been active in many civic organizations. He held various offices in the Bloomington Exchange Club and was named National Exchange Club Outstanding President. He served in numerous Masonic bodies and in the Bloomington-Normal Jaycees. He has volunteered with numerous health-care groups and served on the McLean County Board of Supervisors as well as the McLean County Nursing Home Committee during the planning and construction of the new nursing home.

Friend of U High
Susan Thetard

Photo of Susan ThetardThetard will be honored as the recipient of the 2011 Friend of U High Award for her service as an educator, mentor and friend of the students of U High. Thetard currently serves as a faculty member in the English department and director of the theater program.





Photo of Sgt. Major Christopher RaubeOutstanding Young Alumni
Sgt. Major Christopher Raube ’89

Raube of Aberdeen, N.C., and currently deployed overseas, will be the inaugural recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Young Alumni Award for his achievement and service to our nation. Sgt. Maj. Raube currently serves in the 3rd Special Forces Group. His military career spans 20 years, with time in the infantry and in Special Forces. He served as a counterinsurgency advisor and assistant to coalition and conventional forces for Gen. David Petraeus in Afghanistan. He has been decorated with four bronze stars, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Valor, Joint Service Commendation Medal and numerous peace-time awards.

Next Article: Brevoort to speak Oct. 5

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