Distinguished Alumni


BUCHA, COLONEL (USA-Ret) PAUL ‘Bud’ (61) – Chairman, Ohio Coatings Company; Congressional Medal of Honor recipient; former President of Congressional Medal of Honor Society

BURNETT STRAUSS, MARY (‘55) – Co-owner of and Director of Restoration for Fox Theatre; Broadway producer, received the 2001 Tony Award Best Revival of a Play for ‘One flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’; numerous civic activities including service on St. Louis cultural Boards and recognition including St Louis Variety Cub Woman of the Year in 1985

DIERBERG, JIM (‘55) – CEO/chairman/owner of First Banks, the largest family-owned bank in the U.S. with 150 branches

DIERBERG, ROBERT (‘57) – President/chairman of Dierbergs Markets and is responsible for company’s growth to 19 stores; numerous civic boards and commissions

FERER, CHRISTINE (‘68) – Founder and chairman of VIDICOM/APPLEVISION; on-air fashion and style correspondent for the NBC TODAY Show, WNBC-TV, NBC News Channel, EXTRA The Entertainment Magazine, Regis and Kathie Lee, WABC-TV, ABC Radio, CBS EARLY SHOW

FLACHMANN, MICHAEL, PhD (‘6O) – Professor of English at the California State University in Bakersfield; author; Carnegie Foundation US Professor of the Year in 1995; Shakespearean scholar; Fourth Degree Judo Black Belt

GINSBERG, FRANCES (‘73) – International dramatic soprano for the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Symphony, Prague Festival, New York City Opera, L’Opera de Nice, New Israeli Opera, Welsh National Opera, Washington and Pittsburgh Operas

HASLER, JONATHAN, PhD (‘61) – Adjunct faculty at Colorado State; international expert in genetics and reproductive technology

HECKER, COLONEL WILLIAM, JR (‘61) – Teledyne Brown Engineering, program manager for the National Missile Defense Program; program manager for the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), Desert Storm; numerous Military Awards

HEISE, LORI (‘79) – International expert on gender analysis, bioethics, HIV/AIDS, violence against women, women’s reproductive health, and technology transfer from industrial to developing countries

HELLER COHEN, ELIZABETH (‘72) – Vice president of extended enterprise & corporate futurist at Nestle Purina PetCare Company; first recipient of the “St. Louis Business Journal” Most Influential Business Woman Award in 1999

HELLER, RABBI PATRICE, PhD (‘72) – Rabbi, one of the first women in the US to be ordained; psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist; Classical ballerina

HENDIN, DAVID (‘63) – Literary agent; author of 11 books and1000 newspaper/magazine articles; received a 1975 Pulitzer nomination; international authority on Biblical, ancient Jewish coins; former senior vice president of the United Feature Syndicate; former president/publisher of World Almanac/Pharos Books

HENRICK, RICHARD (‘67) – Author of “Flight of the Condor”, “Crimson Tide”, “Attack on the Queen” and 15 other novels; executive producer of Attack on the Queen (2002 release)

HOGAN MARTY (‘76) – Won five national racquetball championships from 1978-82; author; National Paddleball Champion; International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame; “Racquet Magazine” Athlete of the Year in 1977; “Racquetball Illustrated” Athlete of the Year in 1980, ’81, and ’82; “National Racquetball” Top-Ranked Player of All time in 1985

JAFFE ROTHMAN SEROT, GERI (‘62) – U.S. Senate nominee from Missouri in 1992; former President of Missouri Legislative Spouses; multi-honored civic volunteer/advocate women’s health issues

KAISER, DR. LARRY (‘70) – Chair of the Department of Surgery and Chief of Surgery at University of Pennsylvania Hospital; John Rhea Barton Professor of Surgery; author; inventor; recognized as a “Top Doctor” by American Health Magazine and as “Top Women’s Cancer Specialist” for lung cancer by Good Housekeeping

KOLKER, JIMMY (‘66) – U.S. Ambassador for Burkina Faso; former U.S. government assignments at American embassies in Denmark, Botswana, England, Sweden, Zimbabwe and Mozambique

KORNFELD, DR. STUART (‘54) – Co-Director of the Division of Hematology at Washington University School of Medicine; David C. and Betty Farrell Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Wash U; international expert on glycobiology through biomedical research

LEVIN, MARK (‘68) – CEO of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, one of the largest biotech companies in America, specializing in genomics

LEVY, LAWRENCE (‘62) – Chairman & CEO of Levy Restaurants and The Levy Organization (real-estate development); 1999 IFMA Gold Plate Award and America’s Restaurateur of the Year; 2001 Ernst and Young’s Master Entrepreneur of the Year

LEVY, MARK (‘64) – Co-founder of Levy Restaurants; developed The Restaurant Group, The Sports and Entertainment Group, and The Consulting and Advisory Services Group

McGINNIS, W. PATRICK (‘65) – President & CEO of Nestle Purina PetCare Company; Board of Trustees at Washington University

MACKEY, EUGENE (‘56) – Architect at Mackey Mitchell Associates; restoration of more than 1000 St. Louis historical buildings; renowned designer of local landmarks such as Japanese Garden in MO Botanical Garden and St. Louis Zoo south entrance; architect for Ladue Horton Watkins High School 2002 natatorium/gym addition

MEYERS, JOEL (‘72) – Sports announcer for: Fox Sports Net for the San Antonio Spurs, Major League Baseball, Big 12 Football, PGA Golf Tour; CBS Radio for the NFL, college basketball, Major League Baseball, Dream Team Olympic Games; ESPN; radio announcer for St Louis Cardinals

NIELSON, COLONEL (Ret-USAF) STEVE ‘Sonny’ (‘58) – 200 combat missions, Distinguished Flying Cross, eight air medals in Vietnam; National War College on Washington, D.C.; senior management and commands within USAF

PASSANANTE, JEAN (‘71) – Co-Head Writer for As The World Turns (current), All My Children, Another World, and One Life To Live (former); received an Emmy Award in 1993; received Writers Guild Awards in 2000 and 1992; Off-Broadway producer; actor

QUICKSILVER, ROBERT (‘73) – President for Fox Television, Network Distribution; attorney

RAND, JOE E (‘75) – Faculty, film scoring for University of California, Los Angeles; composer; music editor for films including Titanic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Clear and Present Danger, Braveheart, The Perfect Storm, and Jurassic Park III; received MPSE Golden Reel Award for Titanic in 1998

ROTHMAN, CAROLE (‘66) – Artistic Director & Co-Founder of Second Stage Theatre, NYC; first woman director ever to be nominated for a Tony award (1987); producer for 80+ plays for 26 Obie Awards, five Drama Desk Awards; Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Directing; Northwestern University National Advisory Board, School of Speech

RUSSELL, ANDY (‘59) – Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker and team captain for 10 years; went to the Pro Bowl for 7 years; made the All-Pro Rookie Team in 1963; made the NFL All-Decade Team from 196S to ’75; Steeler MVP in 1970; member of two winning Super Bowl Teams in 1974 and ’75; Pennsylvania Hall of Fame; University of Missouri Hall of Fame; Big Brothers arid Sisters Man of the Year in 1989 and 2015, Inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

SPIRTAS, KEVIN (‘80) – Actor on Broadway in A Chorus Line, Meet Me In St. Louis; Days of Our Lives series regular; films; co-founder of the Ladue ‘Graduate Stars Concert’

SPONG, DR. CATHERINE (‘85) – Chief of Pregnancy & Perinatology Branch at National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health (NIH); Associate Editor of “Obstetrics and Gynecology”; international expert in maternal-fetal medical research

SUSMAN, TODD (‘65) – Actor for films including: The Juror, Blast From the Past, Beverly Hills Cop II; guest star, recurring roles and regular for multiple series on television; multiple voice-overs including current Mitsubishi, Sonicare

WHYMAN, JEFF (‘71) – Artist, sculptor












Frances Ginsberg (1973)
Ladue Distinguished Alumna

Frances Ginsberg, Ladue Class of 1973 and Recognized Distinguished Alumna, died on Dec. 24, 2010, in New York. She was 55.

Frances GinsbergFrances led a distinguished career in the opera world. After graduating from Ladue Horton Watkins High School, she graduated from the University of Kansas, followed by training at the Center for American Artists, the training program of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Frances died from cancer and was a previous survivor of breast and ovarian cancer.

Her debut with the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center in 1986 followed with performances in the opera companies of the Houston and Fresno Grand Operas, the San Diego, Pittsburgh, Utah, and Cincinnati Operas; the Welsh National Opera and the l’Opera de Nice. Her performances included roles in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”, Puccinis’ “la Boheme”, Verdi’s “Traviata” and Leoncavallos’ “Pagliacci”.

Those who interacted with Frances at the recognition ceremony know firsthand of the power of her voice. Over the weekend, she graciously favored the recognition ceremony and the football game with National Anthems that could be heard without amplification. She will be missed by all who knew her and those who enjoyed her talents.

She is the first of the Ladue Distinguished Alumni to pass away.