Stillwater Area Public Schools Alumni image

Stay up-to-date on Alumni news and events!

  Class reunion information

  Subscribe to the Alumni E-newsletter

   Like the SAHS Alumni Facebook page  

Distinguished Alumni

Since the first high school graduating class of 1876, a number of graduates have achieved outstanding records of professional distinction as well as service to humanity and to their community.

We are pleased to be able to honor a few of these individuals (see below.) The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes individuals who have placed a high priority on education and service to others, becoming role models for this and future generations.

Dr. Jon Swenson, a Stillwater Area High School principal, initiated this award in 1987. These are the distinguished alumni who have been selected for this special honor since that time.

A committee through a nomination process selects the award recipients. If you would like to nominate a distinguished alumnus, an online form is available here. The chosen Distinguished Alumni are honored at a reception prior to graduation and at the commencement ceremony.

Dr. David Fritts

2019 - Dr. David C. Fritts

Class of 1967, a renowned scientist and researcher in the area of atmospheric dynamics, with broad experience in theoretical and experimental activities. 

Marcella Lantz

2019 - Marcella Christine (Schell) Lantz

Class of 1943, spent her nearly 30-year career working at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Robert MacDonald III

2019 - Robert MacDonald III

Class of 1968, spent more than 40 years serving as a leader of the 3M Corporation.

David Magnuson

2019 - David Magnuson

Class of 1959, dedicated himself to serving residents of the city of Stillwater as a highly-respected and trusted city attorney. 

Maureen Bausch

2018 - Maureen (Hooley) Bausch

Class of 1972, a nationally-known marketing executive, who helped put Minnesota on the map from Cub Foods to the Mall of America to Super Bowl LII.

Tracey Galowitz

2018 - Tracey A. Galowitz

Class of 1979, a pioneering community leader who serves as a highly-respected and trusted estate planning attorney.

Pamela Johnson

2018 - Pamela (Ogren) Johnson, MS, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

Class of 1976, a leader in the healthcare serving as Chief Nursing Officer for Mayo Clinic and the Chair of the Department of Nursing in Rochester, Minnesota.

David Ratte

2018 - David S. Ratte, Capt, USN (Ret.)

Class of 1980, the retired Naval veteran traveled the world as a nuclear-trained submarine officer, serving for 34 years.

2017 - Marilyn (Lynn) Abercrombie

Class of 1948, an accomplished freelance photographer for the National Geographic magazine, traveled the world capturing rare images of exotic locations.

2017 - Denis McDonough

Class of 1988, held a position commonly known as the second-most powerful job in America as White House chief of staff for President Barack Obama.

2017 - Lee Valsvik

Class of 1978, started a radio and television career in the 1980s, and grew to become one of the best-known media personalities in the Twin Cities metro area.

2016 - Dr. Joe Matel

Class of 1996, a doctor specializing in quality healthcare for low income patients.

2016 - Tony Rath

Class of 1974, an acclaimed editorial and commercial photographer and a photojournalist who has traveled the world.

2016 - Lowell Thompson

Class of 1957, a U.S. Air Force veteran and public servant who has been recognized for his work and service by the Governor's Mansion and the White House.

2015 - Todd Bol

Class of 1974, created the world-wide book-sharing phenomenon Little Free Libraries.

Calvin "Kelly" Brookman

2015 - Calvin "Kelly" Brookman

Class of 1945, prominent business owner and public servant.

Melvin "Buzz" Kriesel

2015 - Melvin "Buzz" Kriesel

Class of 1956, West Point graduate had a long and successful career with the Army, serving two combat tours in Vietnam and working with Special Forces.

Dr. Lisa Shafer

2015 - Dr. Lisa Shafer

Class of 1991, a widely-published neurobiology researcher who has dedicated her career to battling degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Robert McGarry II

2014 - Robert "Bob" W. McGarry II

Class of 1951, dedicated his life to his family and the St. Croix Valley. He was a raconteur with an inimitable Irish wit and keen interest in local history. 

William Palmer

2014 - Bill S. Palmer

Class of 1969, successfully formed his own company, Palmer Capital, Inc., after graduating from the University of St. Thomas, where he was both a student and an athlete.  

Chris Shaffer

2014 - Chris Shaffer

Class of 1988, made a name for himself as a leader in the field of meteorology, becoming one of the nation’s first Certified Broadcast Meteorologists. 

Robert Thueson

2014 - Robert "Bob" Thueson

Class of 1942, a successful and well known as a “quiet leader.” In wartime or in peace, he shared the gift of compassion and demonstrated his concern for others.

Bruce Beutell

2013 - Bruce Beutell

Class of 1950, supports athletics, arts, St. Croix Valley foundations and non-profit groups. He lives by the four Cs of community, commitment, congeniality, and compassion in everything he does.

Dr. Edward Elgethun

2013 - Dr. Edward Elgethun

Class of 1961, inspirational scientist and scholar. Elgethun’s math and science education allowed him to apply algorithms for studies in space, satellite orbits, maneuvers and processing of satellite data. He served as a member of the Apollo 13 Orbit Design Team

Hugh Madson

2013 - Hugh Madson

Class of 1949, Madson helped organize the Lake Elmo Volunteer Fire Department and assisted in development of the Lake Elmo water system. 

Harriet McPherson

2013 - Harriet McPherson

Class of 1946, Public servant, elementary education, ISD 834 Board Member. Served four terms in the Minnesota State House of Representatives. Volunteer with a history of service in Washington County, member of the First Farm Family McPherson also served in a leadership role for the Minnesota News Council and was recognized as WCCO’s Good Neighbor.

2012 - Jean-Paul Beaulieu

Class of 1986, Animator and graphic designer, standout career working in computer graphics and animation for Disney, Pixar, Lucas Films, and Sony, to name a few.

2012 - David “Choc” Junker

Class of 1952, local business owner and public official in several positions. He was the Mayor of Stillwater for two terms (1974-1982), a city council member for one term (1985-1986), a School District 834 Board Member for two terms as vice chair and secretary, and the City of Stillwater Public Works Director for 20 years. 

2012 - Dr. Conway J. Rosell

Class of 1943, Veterinarian, owned four small animal hospitals. Partnered with ophthalmologists to study and perform canine eye surgery. Served on the UofM Veterinary Medicine Alumni Association, ISD 834 Board of Education and Lakewood College Board. WWII Veteran.

2012 - June K. Vining

Class of 1978, Executive director of the TIP organization, community volunteer and award recipient.

2011 - Charles M. Hooley

Class of 1947, A member of the third generation of family in the grocery business, he founded Hooleyʼs Wholesale Meats, was President and cofounder of Cub Foods, generous contributor of time and resources to many local organizations.

Bruce W. McManus

2011 - Bruce W. McManus

Class of 1952, Warden at Maxiumum Security Facility at Oak Park Heights, served as Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Corrections and Executive Director of Re-Entry Services, Inc., a nonprofit agency that serves offenders in Minnesota.

2011 - Sara J. Swenson

Class of 1989, She is the Media Specialist at Edina High School, an adjunct faculty member at Hamline and Cardinal Stritch Universities 

2010 - Sarah Jane Andersen

Class of 1973, active in many community and church organizations including the Wilder Foundation, the Phipps Center for the Arts, the Guthrie Theater, American Red Cross and the Girl Scouts, serving as president of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scout Council of the St. Croix Valley.

2010 - William Brown

Class of 1972, Volunteer surgeon working at the Selian Lutheran Hospital and the Arusha Lutheran Medical Center. AWarded National 2008 Frist Humanitarian Award

2010 - Culver "Cub" Davis III

Class of 1958. Cofounder of Cub Foods, volunteer at Valley Food Shelf and Family Violence Network; supported the Stillwater Library and Lakeview Hospital.

2009 - Tom Keller

Class of 1953, Attorney, served to promote heart health through the Minneapolis Heart Insititute Foundation and Children's Heart Link, champion of the disadvantaged and for equal access to justice.

Andrea Saterbak

2009 - Andrea Saterbak

Class of 1982, Orthopedic surgeon, serves as a consulting physician for the United States Ski Team, Stillwater Area High School and University of River Falls sports teams and the St. Paul Saints baseball team.

2008 - Anne Knoche

Class of 1986, International opera singer

2008 - Brent Peterson

Class of 1982, Historian, Director of Washington County Historical Society, community volunteer

John "Jack" Thoreen

2008 - John "Jack" Thoreen

John "Jack" Thoreen - Class of 1935, Washington County Attorney, then Tenth Judicial District Judge.

Deb Chial

2007 - Deb Chial

Class of 1982, Photographer, photographs capture the St. Croix Valley and preserves its beautiful image for future generation.

Richard Huelsman

2007 - Richard Huelsman

Class of 1959, Civic activist with the Boy Scouts, Chairman of Stillwater Public Library renovation.

2007 - Terry Johnson

Class of 1965, Entrepreneur, developed and marketed a picture language that provides non-verbal communication tools to special needs children and stroke victims, generous contributor to the Stillwater Library renovation.

Dr. Robert Brown

2006 - Dr. Robert Brown

Class of 1953, Educational entrepreneur at local and federal government positions.

Otto Folin

2006 - Otto Folin

Class of 1888, Swedish immigrant, became a Harvard professor and later America’s first bio-chemist.

Jim Lammers

2006 - Jim Lammers

Class of 1959, Attorney honored for service to his community, profession and friends.

2005 - Dorothy Rose Gerson

Class of 1940, Honored as Washington County’s Outstanding Volunteer in 1999 for a lifetime of devoted service to others.

Ronald Perrier

2005 - Ronald Perrier

Class of 1958, Teacher, director of high school, community college and universities theatre productions.

2005 - Mary Hulings Rice

Clas of 1958, Culinary expert, civic and art benefactor in St. Paul and Bayfield, Wisconsin.

2004 - Gary Langness

Class of 1959, Lutheran minister, helped to establish Tumaini University in Iringa, Tanzania.

Randall Raduenz

2004 - Randall Raduenz

Class of 1970, Nationally known and respected wildlife artist, named Artist of the Year by several wildlife organizations

2004 - Betty Roney

Classs of 1926, A pioneer for woman journalists in Minnesota, later became a columnist and editor.

2003 - Veterans' Memorial

Stillwater men killed in action, who died of wounds or went missing in combat operations during the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam who were residents, attendees and/or graduates of Stillwater High School.

Howard Albertson

2003 - Howard Albertson

Class of 1945, Legislator and judge whose volunteerism helped preserve the history of Washington County

2003 - Toby Old

Class of 1963, Research scientist in oral pathology who later became a distinguished author and photographer.

2002 - Dr. Jed Jerry Davis

Class of 1939, Distinguished teacher, designer, director and author in the field of Children’s Theatre in the U.S.

2001 - Anne Beers

Class of 1970: Head of Minnesota State Patrol 1997-2005, the only female head of a State Patrol in the nation.

Estia Eichten, PhD.

2000 - Estia Eichten, PhD.

Class of 1964, Theoretical physicist taught at Harvard; did research at Cornell, Stanford and Princeton. This research work and study helped advance science and energy, resulting in many distinguished awards nationally, currently working at Fermi Accelerator Laboratory at the University of Chicago

Jack Magnuson

2000 - Jack Magnuson, PhD

Class of 1946, Educator, dropped out of high school to serve in WWII, became one of North America’s most honored school superintendents, received awards in Wisconsin for child advocacy.

2000 - Major General James S. O'Brien

Class of 1940, Local businessman, active community member, part time soldier who rose from a 17 year old enlistee in the Minnesota National Guard to Major General 60 years later.

1999 - Harold I. Brosious

Class of 1899, Mining engineer, established and headed an agricultural School of Malcotal from 1912-50, considered a model in Central America.

1999 - John P. St. Marie

Class of 1963, Attorney, overcame childhood quadriplegia from polio to become Hennepin County attorney; inspires others as an active advocate for the handicapped.

1999 - Patrick J. Oriel, M.D.

Class of 1955, Helped develop Michigan State University contacts for Dow Chemical in plant and microbial engineering, established Michigan Biotechnology Institute and helped develop oral insulin.

1999 - Richard Strong

Class of 1960, Investor, 30 years experience in investments, exemplifies the achievements possible through hard work and perseverance.

1998 - Russell Jones

Class of 1935, Pulitzer Prize winning 35 year foreign correspondent for ABC, CBS, NBC; World War II combat correspondent; co-founded European edition of Stars and Stripes; covered stories in Europe, Israel, Algeria, the Congo, Vietnam and Cuba.

Dale Mulfinger

1998 - Dale Mulfinger

Class of 1961, Noted architect, city planner, author, lecturer and professor at University of Minnesota School of Architecture.

Babette Johnson Robb

1998 - Babette Johnson Robb

Class of 1941, Elementary School teacher in District 834, missed her college graduation while christening The Liberty ship, named for her uncle Ernie Pyle.

1997 - Jack Hooley

Class of 1943, Businessman, pioneered today’s grocery superstores by introducing Cub Foods ~ a new dimension in food retailing, honored for 48 year career as grocer, also selfless activist and philanthropist.

1997 - George Leonard

Class of 1920, Civil engineer on heavy construction projects: Panama Canal, airports, dams, given an honorary doctorate from Macalester College.

Robert "Bob" Utecht

1997 - Robert "Bob" Utecht

Class of 1937, “Mr. Hockey,” voice of the North Stars for 14 years, writer and editor of Navy publications, reporter for first UN Peace Conference.

Suzanne Beske-Diehl

1996 - Suzanne Beske-Diehl, PhD

Class of 1963, First female associate dean at Michigan Tech College of Engineering, recipient of American Women Geoscientist Distinguished Letters Award.

1996 - Michael J. Quinlan

Class of 1956, Honorable Mention All American AP and UPI in Air Force, served 23 years, decorated in Vietnam, served as ASAD Liaison to US House of Representatives, retired as a Colonel in 1984.

Gordon R. Klatt

1995 - Gordon R. Klatt, M.D.

Class of 1960, Physician, distinguished colon and rectal surgeon, long time crusader against cancer, established the American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life.”

1995 - Richard N. "Dick" Olsen

Class of 1953, Fourth generation builder and president of George W. Olsen Construction Co., life-long activist in many various civic/athletic endeavors through the St. Croix Valley.

1995 - Sarah A. Stevenson, PhD

Class of 1963, Educator, international education career, recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships, director of International Education at University of St. Thomas.

1994 - Robert S. Davis

Class of 1931, Financial investor/advisor, senior vice president of St. Paul Companies, served 30 years for the Tozer Foundation.

1994 - Harry Swanson

Class of 1922, Banker, insurance agent, treasurer for Washington County Fair Board and Washington County Historical Society.

1994 - Jeanne G. Splinter Trumble

Class of 1958, Distinguished career with U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Peace Corps volunteer in Peru, health consultant in Venezuela.

Mark Jacobson, M.D.

1993 - Mark Jacobson, M.D.

Class of 1970: Physician, medical missionary to Africa, in 1985 headed development of a new hospital in Arusha, Tanzania, where he continues to serve.

1992 - Louise Berg

Class of 1927, 40 year teacher and principal in Washington County schools, spent retirement hours translating books into Braille.

Barbara Bancroft Klemme

1992 - Barbara Bancroft Klemme

Class of 1947, Entrepreneurial small business owner, active in civic and corporate programs.

1992 - Chester Wilson

Class of 1903, Local attorney, served as a special Minnesota Attorney General for the Water Pollution Control Commission.

William C. Bernstein

1991 - William C. Bernstein, M.D.

Class of 1920, Physician, internationally recognized for his pioneering work in colon and rectal surgery, a member of University of Minnesota Medical School faculty.

1991 - Louise Jarchow Johnson

Class of 1923, Educator, community activist, school principal and School Board member, curator of Washington County Historical Museum.

1991 - Sally Johnson Novetzke

Class of 1950, Political activist, appointed as U.S. Ambassador to Malta in 1989 by President G.H.W. Bush.

1991 - Earl C. Swanson

Class of 1927, Apprentice draftsman for Andersen Windows Frame Co., worked his way up to serve as President and Chairman of the Board.

1990 - Arthur E. Berggren

Class of 1925, Artist and entrepreneur, authored several books, founded the Audrey and Arthur Berggren Scholarship Fund which gives several scholarships to graduating seniors planning on attending the University of Minnesota.

1989 - Evelyn "Jo" Dickinson

Class of 1927, Nurse, established first public health nursing service and vision testing program for local elementary schools, developed Lakeview Hospital Scholarship program.

1989 - Robert F. Estelle

Class of 1927, 25 year librarian and foreign language professor at the U of M, developed summer institute for high school foreign language teachers.

Butch Thompson

1989 - Richard "Butch" Thompson

Class of 1961, Noted jazz musician – pianist and clarinetist, served as house pianist for Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.”

Thomas J. Abercrombie

1988 - Thomas J. Abercrombie

1948 graduate, National Geographic photographer, first person to win both “Newspaper Photographer of the Year” and “Magazine Photographer of the Year” awards.

Dr. Allen R. Holmberg, Copyright Cornell University

1988 - Allan R. Holmberg, PhD

Class of 1927, Educator, authority on anthropology, founded Cornell University’s Department of Anthropology.

1988 - J. Edward Slaughter

Class of 1908, Stillwater businessman 60 years, president of the Stillwater Lumber Company, School Board Chairman for 12 years.

1987 - Gerhard J. Bundlie

1907 graduate, Attorney, Mayor of St. Paul 1930-32, founder of Federal Savings and Loan of St. Paul.

1987 - P. Milton Lindbloom

1907 Graduate, Attorney, Stillwater Postmaster 1953-60, World War II Veteran, and active in veterans’ affairs and organizations.

Karl Neumeier

1987 - Karl Neumeier

1907 Graduate, Attorney, State Senator for 16 years, University of Minnesota Board of Regents.

Edward Thelen

1987 - Edward Thelen

1907 Graduate, Attorney, Washington County Probate and Juvenile Court Judge, pioneered legislation to improve the juvenile justice system.

1987 - Reuben Thoreen

1907 Graduate, Attorney for Stillwater, Washington County and Bayport Village from 1913-1923, president of the Minnesota State Bar Association.