By Terry Dean
A Hollywood actor and activist, a college administrator, and "The Sandwich King" make up this year's Tradition of Excellence honorees at Oak Park and River Forest High School.
The award honors those who have made significant achievements in such fields as the arts, sports, business and education. This is the 30th year OPRF has recognized its alumni.
Honorees will also have their picture placed on the school's Wall of Fame featuring previous winners. The 2012 Tradition of Excellence award ceremony is scheduled to take place in November. This year's awardees are:
- 1973 graduate Linda Brubaker is dean of Loyola University Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine. A specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, Brubaker founded Loyola's Women's Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Program. She's also the program's co-director.
- Jeff Mauro has made a name for himself on the Food Network, winning the cable channel's Network Food Star competition and earning his own show, The Sandwich King. The 1998 OPRF grad initially pursued acting but ended up falling back on his second love: cooking. Prior to joining the Food Network, Mauro worked as a chef in Chicago.
- Diana Elizabeth Jordan, a Hollywood actress and 1981 OPRF grad. Jordan, who has cerebral palsy, is also an acting coach, motivational speaker and disability-rights advocate. She's appeared on stage, film and television, including a guest role in the WB series 7th Heaven. In a promotion reel on her website, she says of her condition: "I see my disability not as a limitation but a wonderful opportunity to add another dimension in the cultural diversity of the American scene."