South High to Honor Notable Alumni

South High to Honor Notable Alumni

Distinguished Alumni will be recognized during Homecoming Week!

Downers Grove South High School has selected five alumni to receive distinguished alumni awards. DGS will be honoring these alumni at upcoming Homecoming celebrations in September.

The Distinguished Alumni Award program recognizes Downers Grove South alumni who have made significant contributions to society and whose accomplishments, affiliations, and careers have honored the legacy of excellence at South High School.

Click here to view photos of the ceremony and class presentations!

South High 2018 Distinguished Alumni Ceremony
Thursday, September 20 at 5 p.m.
Front Foyer at South High
1436 Norfolk Street, Downers Grove, IL, 60516
South High’s Homecoming football game vs. Addison Trail is Friday, September 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Below are the South High Distinguished Alumni:

Maudlyne Ihejirika, Chicago Journalist, Class of 1981
Ihejirika is an award-winning journalist with Chicago Sun-Times and frequent contributor on PBS, CNN, ABC, NPR and other outlets. She is the author of Escape From Nigeria: A Memoir of Faith, Love and War, the story of her family's survival of the brutal Nigerian-Biafran War, and miracles that brought them to the U.S. Ihejirika is a recipient of Studs Terkel Award and national and local awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and National Association of Black Journalists, and several civic awards.

Amy Liss, Motivational Speaker and Volunteer, Class of 2001
Live Each Day With an Attitude of Gratitude is Liss’s motto in life. Born with severe cerebral palsy and needing help with daily living, Liss works at Easterseals helping staff and families feel valued and appreciated. Also, Liss serves on staff at the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy speaking on positivity and teamwork. Liss is featured in Foudy’s book, Choose to Matter, as an inspirational leader, and speaks nationwide on service and positivity.

Dr. Robert Roose, Physician Leader, Class of 1997
Dr. Roose is a board-certified physician leader specializing in addiction medicine and integration of behavioral health care. He has served on state and national councils and task forces to address opioid addiction and led innovative efforts in western Massachusetts. In addition to numerous awards, Dr. Roose was named 2012 Addiction Medicine Physician of the Year in New York. Also, his groundbreaking work is featured in an award-winning documentary, The Fix: The Healing is Mutual.

Dr. Samir Soneji, Air Force Captain and Public Health Researcher, Class of 1994
In the United States Air Force, Dr. Soneji was a Captain and flight test analyst for the B-2 stealth bomber. He planned and executed numerous conventional and nuclear weapons tests to ensure B-2 mission readiness. Dr. Soneji was awarded Air Force Commendation Medal for meritorious service. With B.S. in Math from University of Chicago, M.A. in Statistics from Columbia University, and PhD in Demography from Princeton University, Dr. Soneji is currently a researcher and associate professor of health policy at Dartmouth College.

Captain Nicholas Tilbrook, Navy Captain, Class of 1988
Captain Tilbrook earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Physics from the University of Illinois, M.A. in Engineering Administration from Virginia Tech and M.A. in National Security Strategy from the National War College. He commanded USS CHICAGO, a nuclear powered submarine, which earned a Meritorious Unit Commendation. Captain Tilbrook is the Commodore of Submarine Squadron Seventeen responsible for the readiness and operations of all ballistic missile submarines in the Pacific Fleet.

For more information on DGS alumni, visit the alumni website. For more information about the 2018 alumni awards and celebrations, please contact South High’s Student Activities Director Jennifer Martinez at