Distinguished Alumni

This award is the Alumni Association's highest honor and was created to award alumni of Saint Viator and Sacred Heart of Mary high schools that have accomplished significant and extraordinary achievements in their careers. A committee of alumni, faculty, and community leaders will evaluate the applications and select inductees.

Please Note: Nominations for this year’s Distinguished Alumni Awards are closed. The selection committee has begun the process of notifying the nominees. We look forward to announcing the winners at the President’s Dinner on October 7. 
Who is eligible for nomination?
  • A Saint Viator or Sacred Heart of Mary alumnus/alumna
  • A person that shows extraordinary and/or significant achievement in a field, social and philanthropic outreach in the Viatorian Tradition, and professional demeanor consistent with the Viatorian standards.
  • A person that meets the Distinguished Alumni Award Eligibility Criteria

Distinguished Alumni Committee

Judy Amberg
Kate Anderson '00
Jim Banaszak '79
Joey Gonzalez '95
Krystal Harris '15
Rebecca Helmer Jacob '89
Jim Mitchell '77
Chris Paolelli '02
Tom Ramsden

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  • Past Award Recipients


    Dr. Mildred Olivier (SHM) ’78 built her career by helping people. The ophthalmologist saves the lives of hundreds of patients each year. She travels around the world teaching doctors how to fight blindness from glaucoma, helps hospitals and medical schools to eliminate healthcare disparities and ensure cultural competencies among medical practitioners, and assists young doctors and researchers in acquiring skills and support needed to discover new ways to manage and cure eye diseases.

    Mr. Jim Fruchterman '76 has been a rocket scientist, founded two of the nation's foremost optical character recognition companies, and developed reading machines for people with disabilities. He received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006 in recognition of his work as a pioneering social entrepreneur. He is CEO of Benetech, a nonprofit technology company based in Palo Alto, California. In 1989, Fruchterman founded the nonprofit Arkenstone to produce reading machines for the blind, based on the technology developed by one of his companies. Arkenstone became Benetech in 2000 and began creating new technology for people with disabilities. He has also researched for the human rights and environmental conservation communities. Benetech's programs include Bookshare, the world's largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities.


    Maureen O’Hara is the Purcell Professor of Finance at the Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University. She holds degrees from the University of Illinois (B.S. Economics), and Northwestern University (M.S. Economics and Ph.D. Finance), and Honorary Doctorates from Facultés Universitaires Catholiques à Mons (FUCAM), Belgium and Universität Bern, Switzerland. Professor O'Hara's research focuses on issues in market microstructure, and she is the author of numerous journal articles as well as the book Market Microstructure Theory (Blackwell: 1995). Her most recent research looks at the role of toxicity in affecting liquidity in high-frequency markets. A past president of the American Finance Association, Dr. O'Hara publishes widely on a broad range of topics including banking and financial intermediaries, law and finance, and experimental economics. Professor O’Hara is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Investment Technology Group, Inc. (ITG), a global agency brokerage firm, and she serves on the Board of Directors of NewStar Financial, a commercial finance company, where she is on the audit and governance committees. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA-CREF). She is a member of the CFTC-SEC Emerging Regulatory Issues Task Force (the “flash crash” committee), the Global Advisory Board of the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and the Advisory Board of the Office of Financial Research, U.S. Treasury. She was recently named to Institutional Investors’ Trading Technology 40, a list of the top innovators and managers in the field. She has consulted for a number of companies and organizations, including Microsoft, Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, the New York Stock Exchange, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, and the World Federation of Exchanges.

    As Co-Founder of SAVO, John spent the past 14 years pioneering the Sales Enablement software category. Under his leadership as CEO, SAVO became the unquestioned category leader, growing at least 40% annually. In late 2010, John brought in a new CEO, but he remains active on SAVO’s Board.
John holds a BA from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Since stepping down as CEO of SAVO, John has been serving in Christian ministry, teaching at Kellogg, and sitting on company Boards. He and his wife, Carla, live in Arlington Heights with their two sons.


    Rev. L. Scott Donahue is President & CEO of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, a therapeutic home that helps children who’ve suffered abuse, neglect, abandonment, and emotional traumas. Since joining Mercy Home’s board in 1990, Fr. Donahue has continued to expand and enhance the services that Mercy Home provides to its children, especially in the area of education. Fr. Donahue holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and accounting from Loyola University of Chicago and master’s degrees in social work from Loyola University, theology from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary and applied spirituality from the University of San Francisco.

    Kerry Lavelle is the Founding Partner at Lavelle Law, Ltd. Utilizing his MBA and J.D. from DePaul University, Lavelle utilizes his versatility by focusing his practice in the areas of Corporate Law, Federal, and State Taxation, and Estate Planning. Among others, Lavelle has delivered lectures on a variety of topics, most notably as an adjunct professor at John Marshall Law School, the Illinois CPA Society, and private accounting firms on taxation matters. Lavelle believes that as a business owner, he has a responsibility to commit to the local community, and participates fully in events that are important to the residents.


    Kate Schafer Costello graduated from Sacred Heart of Mary High School in 1970 and began her theatrical experience in the Saint Viator/Sacred Heart of Mary musicals. She completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1974, where she studied speech education with a theater emphasis. She then earned a Master’s Degree in Theater from Northwestern University in 1978 and taught speech and theater at Buffalo Grove High School for six years. Kate “retired” to raise a family, though she remained active in community theater and puppetry, including directing four musicals at Saint James, her parish. She directed the Saint Viator theater program for over 2- years. Kate and her husband Jim are the proud parents of four Saint Viator sons – Jack ’99, Robert ’02, Paul ’05, and Philip ’09.

    After graduating from Saint Viator, Chuck graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UW-W) and began a 21-year career with the Arlington Heights Police Department, primarily assigned to the Criminal Investigations Unit. In 1990, a second 20-year career began as an agent/air marshal with the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Homeland Security wherein he traveled worldwide while performing assessments, conducting investigations, and providing training to aviation security officials as part of an anti-terrorism assistance program. Chuck has served numerous organizations and boards, including the Saint Viator Advisory Board & Charter Class of 1965 Reunion Committee, UW-W National Alumni Association, Indianapolis Ski Club, Indianapolis Yacht Club and has participated in Habitat for Humanity projects. He and his wife Martha enjoy boating, skiing, and travel when not at home in Indianapolis.

Alumni Office

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  • Photo of Krystal Harris

    Ms. Krystal Harris 

    Alumni Relations Manager

Saint Viator High School

Located in Arlington Heights, IL, Saint Viator High School is a private, co-ed, Catholic school for grades 9-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.