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Commencement is a time when seniors traditionally reflect on what they have accomplished and what the future might hold. The Class of 1980 also asked some questions. What about the graduates who preceded them? Where are they? What have they achieved? How well have they met the challenges they faced following commencement?

The questions led the 1980 Senior Class officers to establish the first annual Distinguished Graduate Award to recognize the professionals and humanitarian achievements of Butler High graduates who made their presence known in their communities and in the world.

The list includes musicians, educators, diplomats, medical doctors, designers, scientists, and business leaders. The name of the recipient is announced annually during commencement exercises, to answer publicly the questions first asked by the Class of 1980 and to make the assembled families and friends of each graduating class aware of how endless the possibilities are.

The search for the recipients begins with American Education Week each November. Nominations are accepted until April 1. A Distinguished Graduate Award Steering Committee directs the project. The committee includes the chairperson and founder of the award, past recipients, the school board president or his/her designee, senior representatives on the Student Advisory Committee to the school board, and the Senior Class officers and faculty advisers.

The steering committee researches the nominees and presents the names of three finalists to the DGA Selection Committee, which votes by secret ballot to choose the Distinguished Graduate. Members of the selection committee include the Senior Class officers and advisers, senior representatives to the board Student Advisory Committee, and a senior representative from each Butler High club and organization.

Nominees remain in contention from year to year unless the person making the nomination withdraws the name. Anyone making a nomination should continue to update a nominee's file by sending additional information to the senior high school.


Click to download the Distinguished Alumni Nomination Form>

Distinguished Graduates

Class of 1980 selects: George P. Young, Ph.D.

Class of 1981 selects: P. Richard Rittelman

Class of 1982 selects: Edward M. Ifft

Class of 1983 selects: Orlando S. Pride

Class of 1984 selects: William K. Parker, Ph.D.

Class of 1985 selects: William L. Grecco

Class of 1986 selects: Margaret C. Puff

Class of 1987 selects: Thomas O. Oesterling, Ph.D.

Class of 1988 selects: Dr. Peter E. Sheptak:

Class of 1989 selects: Dr. Dorothea R. Johnson

Class of 1990 selects: Samuel Scarnato, Ph.D.:

Class of 1991 selects: H. Creston Doner

Class of 1992 selects: William J. Perry, Ph.D.

Class of 1993 selects: Daniel A. D'Aniello

Class of 1994 selects: Dr. Earnest E. Moore, Jr.

Class of 1995 selects: Rebecca West

Class of 1996 selects: William Purvis

Class of 1997 selects: William H. Dumbaugh

Class of 1998 selects: John W. Gumpper

Class of 1999 selects: Carl Yankowski

Class of 2000 selects: Carmen V. Scialabba

Class of 2001 selects: George "Mike" Kelly

Class of 2002 selects: Vice ADM Jonathan W. Grenert

Class of 2003 selects: Paula J. Smith Hartley

Class of 2004 selects: Richard A. Hoehn, Ph.D.

Class of 2005 selects: Jim Pugh

Class of 2006 selects: Kerry Blake Dumbaugh

Class of 2007 selects: George P. Kiester

Class of 2008 selects: Thomas J. Rutkoski

Class of 2009 selects: Patrick C. Smith

Class of 2010 selects: John E. Kosar

Class of 2011 selects: Chester Aaron

Class of 2012 selects: John J. Pinder, Jr.

Class of 2013 selects: James N. Anderson

Class of 2014 selects: John W. Connor, Ph.D.

Class of 2015 selects: Jay T. Last, Ph.D.

Class of 2016 selects: Douglas M Balog

Class of 2017 selects: Eric Klann, Ph.D.

Class of 2018 selects: Michael J. Oesterling

Class of 2019 selects: David J. Kenyon, Ph.D.

Class of 2021 selects: Ms. Mary Patricia DeMucci

Class of 2022 selects: Carole Bitter

Class of 2023 selects: Patricia Powers Thomson