This is the highest honor bestowed upon alumni of Joliet Junior College by Alumni Relations on behalf of Joliet Junior College. It is presented to those alumni who have demonstrated outstanding success in their chosen field, and who have provided humanitarian service to society. Deadline for submitting nominations is March 1, 2014.
- Nomination is required. Nominees must be living at the time of their nomination.
- Must hold an earned degree from Joliet Junior College.
- Must be an individual who has demonstrated outstanding success and distinction in their field.
- Must be an individual who has provided humanitarian service to society.
- Must be an individual who has demonstrated an interest in support of higher education, especially Joliet Junior College.
How to Nominate
To nominate an individual for the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, please fill out the recipient's nomination form online. Deadline for submitting nominations for 2014 is March 1, 2014.
2013 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award Recipient
Ronald M. Whitaker ('69) after graduating from JJC served as secretary to the Board of Trustees from 1967 through 1970. He recalls his education experience at JJC as being unique, because he was on the Board while also a student. A lifelong resident of New Lenox, Whitaker says his JJC education helped him in his business, as owner and operator of Ronald M. Whitaker and Company, an independent insurance agency.
Whitaker served as president of the Joliet Junior College Alumni Association in 1973 and 1974. He served as president on the New Lenox chamber of commerce in 1961; president of the Independent Insurance Agents Association in 1989; and chairman of the New Lenox Board of Fire and Police Commissioners from 1981 through 2002. He is currently president of the New Lenox Area Historical Society.
Whitaker credits his wife Mary, with being his biggest supporter. The two have enjoyed seeing the world together, including two photo safaris in Africa. They have two sons, R. David and Andrew.
||Ronald M. Whitaker ('69)|
Beulah Hoffer ('32) Former Chair of Women's Physical Education at JJC
Philip Nelson ('76) President of Illinois Farm Bureau
Dr. Daniel Gutierrez ('58) Internal Medicine Physician; Medical Director
Robert Baca ('78) Professor or Music
Dr. Charles O. Warthen ('58) Former Dept. Chair of Technology at JJC
Charles Morgan ('91) JJC Music Professor, Director of JJC Band
||Richard Brandolino ('59) Retired, JJC Administrator|
Larry Walsh ('68) Will County Executive, Former Illinois Senator
||Rose Mancuso Pharmacist, Owner REMCO Medical|
Katherine Dunham ('28), award presented posthumous
Revolutionized the world of dance, Dunham's intellectual, artistic and humanitarian contributions were extraordinary.
Edmund C. Puddicombe ('34)
Returned to JJC in 1938 as a teacher of biological sciences. Sponsored the Students of Medical Sciences for 25 years.
||Dr. Thomas Streitz ('52)|
Practicing Dentist, instrumental in Founding the JJC Alumni Association in 1970 and was the Association's first president.
||Vera Smith '24|
Retired JJC English Instructor
JJC's first Director of Admissions and Records
||Anthony Gutierrez '48|
Retired Assistant Principal of Joliet Central
||John H. Weitendorf, Sr. '42 (deceased)|
Owner of Town & Country Realtors
||James Stephenson, Jr. '56|
Founder of Kinetic Systems Corp., Lockport, IL
||Dr. Curtis J. Crawford '71|
President and CEO of ZiLOG, Inc.
||Dr. Richard Tarizzo '51|
Retired Vascular Surgeon, Joliet, IL
Richard L. Joutras '47
(deceased) Chairman, Bradley Printing & FNW Bank
Bernard J. Kestel '57
Engineering Specialist, Argonne Nat'l. Laboratory
||Major General Daniel J. Manning '31 (deceased)|
Eng. Executive and WWII Veteran
||Dr. Earle Stellwagen '53|
Hon. Julian E. Hughes '42
Dr. Stanley G. Rousonelos M.D. '47 (deceased)
Dr. Joseph McFadden '52
St. Thomas University, First Lay President, Houston, TX
Dr. Thomas Peyla M.D. '54
Russell E. Wunderlich '31 (deceased)
James Agazzi '60
Art Director and Emmy Award Winner
Hon. William Caisley '60
Retired Circuit Court Judge
Franklin Brewster, Sr. '36 (deceased) Int'l. Tech. Adviser for Motorola
John Barnes '41
Retired Vice President Eastman Kodak Company
Dr. John Radke '56
Clinical Professor of Medicine
Dr. Barbara Smith '60
Assistant Professor, Food Science and Nutrition Department
Dr. Edward Schweizer '53
||Raymond M. Standahar '41|
(deceased) Government Exec. Dept. of Defense
Dr. David Imig '59
Herbert Trackman '31 (deceased)
Dr. William Shannon '32 (deceased)
Dr. Wayne Watson '66
President, Kennedy-King College
Hon. Susan Pierson-Sonderby '67
Judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Dr. Donald Holt '52
Oscar Kreimeier '27
(deceased) Research Chemist
Alan Kehlet '49
George Sangmeister '51 (deceased)
Retired Illinois Congressman
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor '53
Author and 1992 Newbery Medal Winner
B. Leighten Wellman '28 (deceased)
Edward C. Zajac '36
Retired Computer Administrator
Dr. John C. Houbolt '38
Chief Aeronautical Scientist, LaRC, NASA, (retired). Best known as developer of the LOR concept for putting men on the moon and returning them safely to Earth.
Dr. Arthur Toy '37 (deceased)
Chemist, holding more than 80 patents