Four Huskie alums deemed excellent

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By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

A NASA scientist, an explorer, a wrestling coach and a nonprofit leader will receive Tradition of Excellence awards this year from their alma mater. Oak Park and River Forest High School will present the awards on Friday, Nov. 13 to Dr. Frank Lemkey, David Shurna, Anne Sweeney and Michael Powell. 

Lemkey, a renowned material scientist, is the director of microgravity science at NASA. The Harvard alum is a 1954 graduate of OPRF. 

Shurna, who co-founded the nonprofit Global Explorers, is a writer and environmental educator. He graduated from OPRF in 1991.

Sweeney, also a 1991 graduate, has dedicated her life to protecting young refugee women, as well as their children, in Nairobi. She co-founded the Chicago-based nonprofit Heshima Kenya in 2008.

Powell, a 1994 OPRF graduate, led the Huskies wrestling team to four team state championships and 10 solo championships as head coach. The National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee has been featured in Sports Illustrated and various sports documentaries. 

The Annual Tradition of Excellence Awards were established by the class of 1982 and is presented each year to alumni and former students "who have distinguished themselves professionally and who, through their accomplishments, have brought great credit to their alma mater," according to a statement released by school officials.

Michael Romain


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