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Bradley Hilltopics

Fall 2008 • Volume 14, Issue 4  

Alumni Profiles

Dr. Michael Rezak, MA ’72 | Holocaust speaker honored | John Marshall honors trustee | Kids turning green | State softball champs | Making music | 

 

Holocaust speaker honored

marion lazanA 2008 Woman of Distinction award was presented to MARION BLUMENTHAL LAZAN ’57 in June by the New York Senate. Almost a million people have heard Marion’s account of her family’s incarceration in a Nazi concentration camp. She is the co-author of Four Perfect Pebbles. The state Senate began the awards program in 1998. Marion was honored by Bradley in 2004 when she was named a Centurion. She and her husband NATHANIEL LAZAN ’54 recently celebrated their 55th anniversary. They live in Hewlett, N.Y.

 

John Marshall honors trustee

bruce mecklerBRUCE MECKLER ’77 was honored by the John Marshall Law School in May with its distinguished service award. Bruce is chairman of Meckler Bulger & Tilson, the nation’s largest practice focusing on attorney fees. He has been appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility. An alumnus of John Marshall and a member of its board of trustees, Bruce also is a director and vice chairman of McPier, the owner and operator of McCormick Place and Navy Pier.

 

Kids turning green

lynn johnson hasselbergerLYNN JOHNSON HASSELBERGER ’86 developed the I Count for myEARTH environmental awareness campaign at North Barrington Elementary School last fall. It includes a parents’ committee and a popular club for students. Lynn’s company, myEarth360, offers products to support schools’ efforts. A portion of the sales goes to the participating school, and a donation is made to the National Environmental Education Foundation. Lynn also writes a blog about environmental concerns for consumers. She and her husband CRAIG HASSELBERGER ’88 live in North Barrington with their son.

 

State softball champs

leanne bonifasLEANNE BONIFAS ’88 is proud to have brought special distinction to Bartonville when the Limestone Community High School softball coach led her team to the Class 3A Illinois High School Association softball state championship in June. “When people ask where I work, I always say Limestone Community High School, the LCHS math teacher says. “It’s a community I’ve grown with. To be a part of bringing something back to the community that will be there forever is very special to me. To be able to win a state championship — I don’t want to say in front of, I want to say with — our community, it’s really special.

Bonifas, who is now pursuing a degree in counseling at Bradley, has been the head coach at Limestone since 1999. Her 2008 team finished 32-8 and became the first Limestone sports team to win a state championship. “The most exciting thing for me is to watch young people work hard and dedicate themselves to a common cause and come out on top at the end, Bonifas says.

“If somebody wants to put a cherry on the top of this championship sundae, put one or more of the Limestone players in the red and white,” she adds. “I’d be very happy to see one of our players come to Bradley. The Peorian was a standout catcher at Bradley from 1985 to 1988.

 

Making music

The Haitian ambassador to the United States was the guest of honor at a piano recital performed by JOSHUA RUSSELL ’01 (shown third from left, along with honored guests Haitian ambassador Raymond Joseph, far left, and his wife.) The Washington, D.C., concert benefited the CARMA foundation and its mission to help women and children in Haiti. Josh is presenting programs on Haitian piano music to national conferences and conventions this year and next. He has completed coursework for a doctoral degree in piano performance from the University of Iowa. He performs with the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, and is joining the piano faculty at Bradley. Josh and his wife ANNA WILLIAMS RUSSELL ’04 (pictured with Josh at right) frequently perform concerts as duo-pianists. The Russells recently moved to Peoria. They welcomed their second daughter, Mary Elizabeth, on March 6.