The dean of the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine, a Sandwich King and an advocate for performers with disabilities will receive this year's Tradition of Excellence awards at Oak Park and River Forest High School.
Linda Brubaker, Jeff Mauro and Diana Elizabeth Jordan will receive their awards at a reception and dinner on Nov. 29 and make presentations to students during assemblies at 8:45 and 9:40 a.m. Friday, Nov. 1.
Established by the Class of 1982, the annual awards recognize OPRF alumni who have made outstanding contributions to society through their personal and professional pursuits.
Brubaker, a 1973 graduate, has been the dean of the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine since 2001. A life-long Oak Parker, Brubaker completed her medical training at Rush University, where she established the first division of female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery in the Midwest. She has served in a number of professional roles including president of the American Urogynecological Society and the Society of Gynecology Surgeons. Brubaker was on the cover of Chicago Magazine's January 2011 issue featuring Top Doctors for Women.
A member of the Class of 1996, Mauro immersed himself into the performing arts at an early age and fell in love with cooking after opening a deli with a cousin. He continued to perform, but after a few years of hustling, he graduated from cooking school and returned to Chicago. He landed on Season 7 of Food Network Star and won. He's now the host of Food Network's Emmy-nominated Sandwich King and the primetime hit $24 in 24.
Diana Elizabeth Jordan, member of the Class of 1981, began her acting career after graduating from the University of Kansas. In 2001, she became the first actress with a disability receive an M.F.A. from California State University, Long Beach. Jordan has appeared in more than 30 plays, on television and in short and feature films. She advocates for people with disabilities to be included in dialogues about multicultural diversity and for greater inclusion in the entertainment industry. Diana serves on SAG-AFTRA’s Performers with Disabilities National Committee and was a chair for Inclusion in the Arts and Media for People with Disabilities Campaign.
They will be added to the roll of distinguished alumni that includes: actors Dan Castellaneta, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Amy Morton; journalists Bruce Morton, Evelyn Holmes and Richard Christiansen; writers Ernest Hemingway, Jane Hamilton and Carol Shields; and businessman Ray Kroc.